Blogs & Opinion


Arsenal v Liverpool: Away team may look to attack Aaron Ramsey

David Jones - David Jones Posted 31st October 2013 view comments

There's always great interest when Arsenal play Liverpool but it's been sometime since they've met with both sitting in the top three of the Barclays Premier League.

The questions now are how long can they stay there and are they a genuine threat to the three clubs who've shared the title for the past nine seasons: Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea?

Ramsey: could be targeted by Liverpool, says David

Ramsey: could be targeted by Liverpool, says David

This game should provide some clues.

Arsenal's critics maintain that despite their excellent start, their squad is too thin to sustain a challenge.

Just look at the way Chelsea were able to change their team in the Capital One Cup and still maintain superiority over Arsene Wenger's shuffled side.

In that game Arsenal's reliance on Olivier Giroud was clear to all - Wenger is kidding no-one if he claims Nicklas Bendtner is a willing and able deputy.

It will be a fascinating tactical battle between two sides determined to prove their worth, not to mention three of the best strikers in the league this season.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

But he has problems elsewhere this weekend, too, and with Mathieu Flamini missing from the midfield, Aaron Ramsey could be asked to play in front of the back four.

The Welshman has been one of the major plus points of the Gunners' start but as he's shown, his strength is higher up the pitch and twice already he has been caught in possession on the edge of his own box - conceding goals against Marseille and Borussia Dortmund.

It's an area Liverpool may look to exploit, depending on how bold Brendan Rodgers chooses to be at the Emirates.

Uncomfortable

In their win over West Brom last Saturday - to some judges their best performance of the season - Lucas acted as the holding midfield player while the starting positions of Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson were more advanced.

Rodgers explained: "When you play the two controllers you don't cover the pitch well enough, but if you flip the triangle around and play with one controller, it pushes the two advanced ones up the pitch more and they can press it better."

It could be an uncomfortable afternoon for Ramsey and Mikel Arteta if Liverpool use the same plan again.

Fundamentally, though, it will be 3v3 in the midfield and this game could be decided in the wide areas where, with Liverpool playing three at the back, Arsenal should have a numerical advantage.

Wenger will encourage his full-backs up the pitch to support his wide men in the hope gaps appear elsewhere.

It will be a fascinating tactical battle between two sides determined to prove their worth, not to mention three of the best strikers in the league this season.

Suarez and Sturridge look the deadliest partnership in England but Giroud, who is asked to very play a different role at the point of Arsenal's attack, has flourished with the responsibility.

And to think the Frenchman might have been the support act had Wenger landed his number one target this summer, the Uruguayan who always scores at the Emirates... Luis Suarez.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Andy Walker

Walker: Celtic must capitalise

Celtic are the ‘luckiest team in the world’ and must seize their chance against Maribor, says Andy Walker....

Guillem Balague

Balague's best buys

Guillem Balague picks his top 15 under-the-radar signings set for a big La Liga this season......

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

Which team has lost the most Premier League games ever? Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is back!...

Latest News RSS feeds

Barcelona take appeal to CAS

Barcelona are appealing to the CAS after FIFA upheld their transfer embargo until January 2016.

Live transfer updates

Swansea sign Federico Fernandez, Juventus target Man City's Stevan Jovetic and Man Utd agree a deal for Marcos Rojo.

Merson: Ramsey a 'big loss'

Arsenal will miss "go-to man" Aaron Ramsey in their Champions League second-leg clash with Besiktas, says Paul Merson.

Palace tight-lipped on Mackay

Crystal Palace are remaining silent over the prospect of Malky Mackay succeeding Tony Pulis as the club's manager.

Sky Sports Today

Join our live blog for the latest news and views, including build-up to Celtic's Champions League tie away to Maribor.

Features

Premier League Transfer: New signing Marcos Rojo must prove the critics wrong once again at Manchester United

Premier League Transfer: New signing Marcos Rojo must prove the critics wrong once again at Manchester United

It’s not Arturo Vidal or Mats Hummels but it seems Manchester United finally have a new signing in £16million man Marcos Rojo. The Argentine defender will arrive at Old Trafford with more questions than those believing him to have the answers. No matter. Rojo has proved the critics wrong before.

Champions League playoff: Arsenal survive Besiktas test with Calum Chambers impressive in the centre of defence

Champions League playoff: Arsenal survive Besiktas test with Calum Chambers impressive in the centre of defence

It was a night that always threatened to be ghastly for Arsenal, the type of long European trip that smacks of the clichéd banana skin so early in the season.

Transfer News: Sky Bet rate Liverpool's chances of signing each of the strikers on their reported shortlist

Transfer News: Sky Bet rate Liverpool's chances of signing each of the strikers on their reported shortlist

In a recent statistical write up by Whoscored.com, over 60 per cent of Skysports.com readers named Marco Reus as the much-needed forward they believe Liverpool should sign before the summer transfer deadline.