Paul Merson has previewed tomorrow’s top-of-the-table clash between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield.
The Gunners currently sit top of the Premier League table – a point clear of Jurgen Klopp’s side – and are searching for their first victory on the red half of Merseyside since 2012.
A win for Liverpool will see them sit top of the tree on Christmas Day and Merson believes Darwin Nunez must play if the Reds are to have any chance of earning all three points.
“I think Liverpool have started games very well of late,” Merson told Sportskeeda. “They did that against West Ham and Manchester United. If Arsenal can get past the first 20-30 minutes and the game calms down, this could go in any direction.
“If Liverpool score inside the first 20 minutes, they win this one. Otherwise, Arsenal will fancy themselves to get all the three points. The Gunners just need to hang in there and ride out the initial barrage.
“Klopp has a few big selection calls to make. I think he is going to keep playing Darwin Nunez because you need to have height in the team. They will need to make their set-pieces count and it’s going to be difficult against the likes of William Saliba and Gabriel without a physical presence like Nunez.
“Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka are going to cause a lot of trouble in the attacking third for Arsenal. Martin Odegaard has been in great form and I think the battle between him and Dominik Szoboszlai could be one to keep an eye on.
“Unlike Manchester United last weekend, Arsenal will have a go at Liverpool. This one could open up pretty quickly and we could be in for a treat.
“Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal.”
Klopp has called for Liverpool supporters inside Anfield tomorrow to bring the noise and be the twelfth man against Mikel Arteta’s side.
We were superb on Wednesday night when we defeated West Ham in the League Cup and we’ll need the same intensity and energy if we’re to get the win tomorrow.
Arsenal will prove a much greater threat going forward so we need to be on it from the start all over the pitch.
Nunez, a player who the Liverpool boss has previously labelled as ‘unstoppable’ (via Marca), didn’t find the back of the net against the Hammers but he did look a lot more effective on the left flank and registered a neat assist for Curtis Jones in the second half.
It remains to be seen whether our German tactician will stick with our No. 9 from the start tomorrow, but if he doesn’t, the Uruguayan has proved on numerous occasions that he can make a brilliant impact from the bench.