Week 3 of the Premier League is already upon us with the fixture computer throwing out another couple of top fixtures so early on in the season.
One that springs off the page straight away is the late kick off on Saturday evening between Liverpool and Arsenal. The only two teams left with a 100% start to the season after two games, with both sharing top spot and Liverpool edging it on goal difference.
An impressive Liverpool thrashed Norwich 4-1 on the opening day before edging past Southampton on Saturday after a long night midweek beating Chelsea in the Super Cup.
The Gunners on the other hand have opened up with two hard fought wins away at Newcastle and at home against a battling Burnley side.
The new signings are slowly being introduced into Unai Emry’s team with acquisition of Spaniard Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid looking like a very astute signing. His performance at the weekend against Burnley was very impressive and the Premier League seems to suit his game. The clubs record signing Pepe came off the bench at the weekend and looks like he may start on Saturday.
This game could well be the story of the ‘front three’ of both teams in my opinion. Between them they have six of the best forward players on show in the league.
I was asked by Sky this week to do a joint XI of the two teams and when doing this it highlighted for me that Liverpool have the edge in two areas of the pitch, the back and front. Not one Arsenal player got into my back four, the closest was David Luiz but he is yet to have enough game time and looked a little lost against Burnley.
The front three was a very tough choice but Aubameyang made it instead of Firmino, simply due to the way he has started the season and the different pace dynamic that he brings to the team. But what Firmino does for Liverpool in the way he fits into and plays in their system means that it would be hard to replace him.
I think this is a really tough one to call and the betting markets will be very close. I suspect the value here is in the score prediction and goal scorer markets.
Pushed for a prediction I would have to side with home advantage and go for a Liverpool win with van Dijk to score.
*all odds are subject to change