Liverpool v Arsenal pundits prediction: Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas give their verdicts on Premier League clash at Anfield

Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas give their predictions for Liverpool v Arsenal
Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas give their predictions for Liverpool v Arsenal

This week Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas go head-to-head as Liverpool take on Arsenal at Anfield, check out their predictions for the big game.

It's another grudge match for the Soccer Saturday pundits panel as Thommo's Liverpool play host to Charlie's Gunners in the Saturday evening kick-off in the Premier League - but who'll have bragging rights next week?


Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson in action for Liverpool
Liverpool legend Phil Thompson is backing his Reds again

I beat Matt Le Tissier last weekend on Soccer Saturday, so that's one down, now it is Charlie this weekend!

Arsenal have started better than Liverpool, although both teams are unbeaten. They have probably played a bit better than we have, but Liverpool have been hampered by having the Super Cup game in Istanbul and Jurgen Klopp hasn’t had chance to work with his team as much as Unai Emery has.

I'm really looking forward this game, I always look forward to Liverpool v Arsenal as this has been one of the most attractive fixtures in the Premier League over the past few years, there is always something about this one. It whets the football appetite.

As good as they both are at going forward, it's all about the defenders in this one - Liverpool’s defence will have to be better than they have been so far, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette as lethal a strike partnership as you could find to contend with this weekend. It could be pretty awesome once Nicolas Pepe gets up to full speed in the Premier League too.

It will be a testing time for the defence, but equally so, Liverpool’s attack against Arsenal’s defence could be the big decider. But it's whoever’s defence performs better. That will be the key.

I don’t think there has been a great game yet in the first two rounds of the season, so this may be the first one that really clicks into gear and gives us a classic.

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal (10/1 with Sky Bet)


Big match preview

Arsenal: We look at whether they can end their Anfield hoodoo
Arsenal: We look at whether they can end their Anfield hoodoo


Charlie Nicholas

Charlie Nicholas brings you his predictions
Former Arsenal man Charlie Nicholas brings you his predictions for the big game

I am hesitant, to say the least. It has been a good start, with Arsenal having won their first two matches for the first time in 10 years, so it tells you exactly how they usually start the season.

The team will definitely be positive going into it, but the defensive frailties are still there and with Liverpool playing their front three, they will have pace and menace to deal with. The other way to look at it, is that it will be a test to see where Arsenal are in relation to the top four. And a huge question on the day will be whether David Luiz will be exposed.

The start is crucial, especially at Anfield, as Arsenal need to get through the first 20-25 minutes without damage. It is about getting through the first phase of the game and still being in it.

It also depends on how Unai Emery decides to line up - he may decide to try and block it up, try and stop Liverpool playing, try to keep it compact because of the the opposition.

I would much rather he went a bit more attacking, and I'd go with the same back four with Mateo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira holding, Dani Ceballos in front of those two and a front three of Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette.

They need to get on the ball and make things happen. If you go at Liverpool they are not as good at the back and could show weakness. If Arsenal pin Liverpool back then it can give us hope. But they're so strong at home this Liverpool team that I am expecting them to win this game.

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal (10/1 with Sky Bet)

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