Arsenal v Liverpool: Don’t be fooled by the Emirates negativity

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There has been a lot of talk about Arsenal’s opening-day disaster last season in the build-up to this match, but the circumstances are completely different.

Last August, there was uncharacteristic optimism surrounding them following the purchase of Petr Cech and the inactivity of champions Chelsea, whereas this summer the usual gloom and demands for greater investment have resurfaced.

A year ago, it was West Ham visiting the Emirates, much as it was Aston Villa in 2013-14, opponents who they underestimated and were punished by. Nobody is underestimating Liverpool though, especially after they thrashed Barcelona 4-0 last weekend.

Yes, the Gunners were turned over by the Irons, Chelsea and Swansea in front of their fans last term, as well as Watford in the FA Cup, but against the top five – which is where the outright betting odds place Jurgen Klopp’s men in 2016-17 – they were excellent.

Four such contests yielded 10 points as they beat Leicester, Manchester City and Manchester United – absolutely dominating the latter – and drew 1-1 with Tottenham.

Arsene Wenger’s side have sent the Reds home pointless from three of their previous four trips to north London and kept a clean sheet in the other, so 29/20 looks like a tasty price on them defying defensive injuries to make it four in five. If you disagree, the guests are 21/10 and the draw is 5/2.

However, if you are counting on Klopp to be the man to transform the Merseysiders’ record at the Emirates, where they are now winless in five, just be warned that he has lost three and won only one of his latest five clashes with Arsenal, being defeated on both prior ventures to the capital.

One thing that might not happen in the absence of Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel is a Gunners shutout, especially as Liverpool have notched in six straight top-flight away days. Both teams to score is an 8/13 shot, while you can combine that with a victory for the hosts at 3/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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