Arsenal beats Liverpool in thriller as incredible start continues – NBC Sports

LONDON — Arsenal beat Liverpool in a five-goal thriller at the Emirates Stadium as Mikel Arteta’s young side went back to the top of the Premier League.
What. A. Game.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Gabriel Martinelli scored within the first minute and that set the tone for a crazy end-to-end clash as Darwin Nunez made it 1-1 then Bukayo Saka put an out of sorts Arsenal 2-1 up right on half time.
Roberto Firmino made it 2-2 early in the second half but then Saka scored the winner from the penalty spot as a pulsating clash saw Arsenal beat Liverpool for just the second time in their last 15 Premier League clashes against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
With eight wins from nine to start the season, Arsenal’s fans are dreaming of a title challenge and the raucous atmosphere at the Emirates summed up the confidence flowing through the youngest current team in the Premier League.
With the win they go back to the top of the table and have 24 points from a possible 27, as they are now 14 points ahead of Liverpool who have won just two of their first eight games this season as they continue to labor under Klopp.
Stretched Liverpool go for 2015, early-Klopp vibes: His decision to go back to a 4-2-3-1 formation was supposed to be about defensive solidity. That didn’t work at all at Arsenal. Henderson and Thiago Alcantara were playing 25 yards deeper than the front four of Diaz (who was replaced by Firmino), Jota, Nunez and Salah. There was nothing in-between. When Liverpool got the ball forward early and were direct it worked. When they didn’t they were overrun in midfield and the topsy-turvy nature of this clash reminded me of when Klopp first arrived in 2015 and his high-octane, heavy-metal football was exciting to watch but Liverpool had no balance (especially defensively) whatsoever. Klopp’s side can’t match the intensity they’ve been hailed for over the last few seasons and Arsenal’s youngsters swarmed their defense and midfield in the second half to show that Klopp has to change something drastically or Liverpool will be out of the title race. If they aren’t already.
🔥 What. A. Game.
Arsenal top of the table. 8 wins from 9. #LFC are now 14 points behind #AFC as defensive woes continue.
Recap/highlights ➡️
My thoughts from here at the Emirates ⤵️ #AFC #LFC #ARSLIV
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

Arsenal’s center back pairing creaking: This was a warning sign for the future for Mikel Arteta. Tottenham didn’t make the most of dragging Saliba and particularly Gabriel out of position on the counter last weekend. But Liverpool did. Gabriel’s mistake for the first goal and Saliba being caught out of position for Liverpool’s second proved that Arsenal still have a mistake in them. They can improve as a duo and individually but that is the only area of weakness which looks like being exposed. If Saliba and Gabriel can limit their big mistakes, Arsenal may well sustain this title push.
Saka, Martinelli step up to help Jesus: For much of this season Gabriel Jesus has rightly received huge praise for the way he has led the line and knit this exciting Arsenal attack together. But on Sunday it was Martinelli and Saka who stole the show. Lauded by the home fans at the Emirates, it’s easy to forgot this duo are still just 21 years old. Their direct running scared the heck out of Liverpool and Martinelli racing free and having the composure to cut inside and find Saka to slot home was a beautiful illustration of their industry and quality. The way they pointed to one another in the goal celebration told us the love and appreciation they have. The understanding throughout this young Arsenal team is growing and so is the belief. The Gunners are going places.
Liverpool’s 4-2-3-1 was basically a 4-2-4 as Thiago and Henderson were totally cut off from the attack. Klopp wanted to play two holding midfielders to help Liverpool’s attack but it actually led to the opposite happening. Arsenal held firm and focused on getting the ball to Saka and Martinelli as often as they could. They targeted Alexander-Arnold and Tsmikas and it worked a treat out wide.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
“Arsenal are doing really well and in the situation I think we played a good game. Conceding the three goals, it had nothing to do with the game really. We have to win challenges in these moments. They should not get in these situations but it happened. I saw a team with the right attitude and put in a proper fight and play football and first half we did but in the second half I didn’t see these football moments as much. I think the game is a draw but today we have nothing.” – Jurgen Klopp to BBC Sport
[ MORE: Klopp gives injury update on Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz ]
Liverpool’s worst start to a season under Jurgen Klopp gets worse.#MyPLMorning | #LFC
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 9, 2022

“Thank you so much to the boys and the supporters. That is why we are here. I really enjoyed it… I’ve never seen it like this. You unite everyone.” – Mikel Arteta to reporters
Gabriel Martinelli: Set the tone with his superb run and finish and set up Saka after another brilliant run.
Bukayo Saka: Scored two and gave Liverpool so many issues with his direct runs.
Arsenal head to Bodo/Glimt for their Europa League group stage clash on Thursday, Oct. 13 before heading to Leeds United next Sunday, Oct. 16. Liverpool travel to Glasgow Rangers on Wednesday, Oct. 12 before hosting Manchester City in a huge game on Sunday, Oct. 16.
STOPPAGE TIME! This is tense.
This is nuts. Liverpool almost equalize. 11 minutes to go.
GOALLL! Bukayo Saka slots home the penalty kick. Arsenal lead 3-2. Pandemonium here at the Emirates. Some of their fans couldn’t watch that penalty.
📺: @USA_Network #MyPLMorning | #ARSLIV
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 9, 2022

Penalty to Arsenal! The cross comes in and Gabriel Jesus has the back of his foot kicked by Thiago. Liverpool can’t believe it. There look to be contact there. That won’t be overturned.
Really strange tactical switch from Klopp as it looks like Liverpool have gone to a 4-4-2. I assumed they would go to a 4-3-3.
Liverpool bring on Konate and Fabinho for Salah and Matip.
Looks like Liverpool have gone to a 4-4-2 formation with Henderson on the right wing and Jota on the left with Firmino and Nunez up top. #AFC 2-2 #LFC #ARSLIV
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

It’s all getting rather tense now. 23 minutes to go. Can either team grab a winner? This would be huge for either if they can.
Gabriel Martinelli has gone to play centrally with Gabriel Jesus coming out to he left. Seems like Arsenal trying to find Jesus some more space to operate in. #AFC 2-2 #LFC
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

It is the away fans making all of the noise at the Emirates now. Arsenal’s fans a little stunned by that goal. To be fair, I’d be pretty stunned by Saliba being caught out of position like that. The bloke has hardly put a foot wrong all season long.
GOALLL! And just like that it is 2-2. Jota tees up Firmino who runs behind Saliba and finishes. What a game this is.
BOBBY FIRMINO! Level again at the Emirates!
📺: @USA_Network #MyPLMorning | #ARSLIV
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 9, 2022

Second half is underway! Arsenal have started really well and Martin Odegaard hits a tame effort right at Alisson. Big chance for the Gunners to make it 3-1.
Trent Alexander-Arnold off at half time with Joe Gomez coming on. Was that the ankle injury he suffered? Or maybe the questionable defending on both of Arsenal’s goals?
Arsenal scored at the start and end of the half but Liverpool dominated most of the first 45 minutes.
Clinical edge from the Gunners. Jurgen Klopp will not be happy with the defending on both Arsenal goals. At all. #AFC 2-1 #LFC #ARSLIV
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

GOALLLL! Right on half time Arsenal go 2-1 up. A great counter led by Gabriel Martinelli sees him find Saka to slot home. The crowd go wild here. They can’t believe it. Liverpool totally caught out on the counter.
A few decent chances for Arsenal just before the break but they’re trying to walk the ball into the net. Odegaard and Xhaka just couldn’t get their shot away.
Arsenal are a bit all over the place after that goal. Luis Diaz is down injured and he is coming off. Roberto Firmino is coming on. Jota moves to left wing. Firmino will play just underneath Nunez.
GOALLL! After a very good spell from Liverpool, it’s 1-1. A long ball forward sees Gabriel make a mess of the clearance and Luis Diaz gets in. He races down the right and his cross for Darwin Nunez is perfect as he taps home. Game on. Klopp is loving it on the sidelines. Liverpool’s fans go wild in the away end. The away side are feeling it.
There is quite a large gap between Liverpool’s two central midfielders and their 4 attackers. It’s Henderson and Thiago, then 25 yards of space, then Diaz, Jota, Nunez and Salah. It’s all a bit disconnected right now.
While TAA was down, Arsenal’s fans amused themselves by singing back and forth from one side of the stadium to the other. It’s all very jolly (from an Arsenal perspective) here.
That is a nasty ankle injury for Trent Alexander-Arnold. Combination of Martinelli standing on his ankle and then twisting it. He is back on and is going to try and run it off. #AFC 1-0 #LFC #ARSLIV
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

Liverpool have recovered a little and are having a lot of the ball. Arsenal sat back and looking dangerous on the counter with Bukayo Saka causing problems.
Aaron Ramsdale has gone down holding his leg after a. clearance and #USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner is getting ready on the sidelines just in case he’s needed. Something to watch. Ramsdale is back up now and is okay to carry on. #AFC 1-0 #LFC #ARSLIV
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

GOALLLL! Oh my word. The Emirates has gone bonkers. A lovely move from Arsenal sees Saka cut inside and he finds Odegaard who plays in Martinelli to sweep home. After a brief VAR check for offside the goal stands. “1-0 to the Arsenal” is the chant here.
Not even a minute into the match Gabriel Martinelli outs Arsenal on top!
📺: @USA_Network #MyPLMorning | #ARSLIV
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 9, 2022

KICK OFF: We are underway. What an atmosphere here. Optimism levels high among the home fans.
Who is ready? We are. The scene here in north London.
🔴🔥🙌 It is bouncing here at the Emirates Stadium!
Arsenal vs Liverpool will be a beauty. Let’s go! #AFC #LFC #ARSLIV
Live analysis and updates + stream link ➡️
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

Here is the team news, with Liverpool unchanged and Arsenal’s only change from the win over Spurs is Tomiyasu coming in for Zinchenko at left back. Very attacking lineup from Liverpool with Salah, Jota and Diaz supporting Nunez. Salah against Tomiyasu will be a pivotal battle, you would think.
Team sheet from here at the Emirates. Tomiyasu in for Zinchenko.
Liverpool go with same team which started vs Rangers. #AFC #LFC #ARSLIV
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

Hello and welcome to a beautiful early fall day here at the Emirates! There is a real buzz in the air as red-hot Arsenal host stumbling Liverpool. Can Mikel Arteta get the better of Jurgen Klopp and grab a big statement win early in the season?
❤️🍂🙌 Stunning early fall day here at the Emirates for Arsenal vs Liverpool. #AFC #LFC #ARSLIV
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 9, 2022

Last weekend’s north London derby was billed as a massive test of Arsenal’s early-season title credentials, and they passed with flying colors. Still the youngest team in the Premier League (average age of 24.5, tied with Southampton), the young Gunners have grown and improved far more quickly than was expected of them, now they must show they can beat a side of Liverpool’s caliber — even in their struggles, the quality and highs-stakes experience remain and incredible advantage —  at the very top of the Premier League hierarchy, and a side so dominant in recent times. Gabriel Jesus’ arrival (and team-leading five goals to start the season) has lifted spirits and tide alike, getting the rest of the attacking unit (Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka) heavily involved in the goal-scoring, too. Nine different players have scored a PL goal, but the above quartet is responsible for 12 of 20 goals and 8 of 13 assists thus far.
As for Liverpool, scoring goals hasn’t been a problem (18 in seven games – 4th-most in the PL) and their nine goals conceded (tied-5th-fewest) is hardly appalling either, but their performances have largely matched the disappointing 9th-place start: uninspiring, unremarkable and a bit worrying. Last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Brighton was certainly thrilling, but the Reds not only slow out of the starting gates (2-0 down after 18 minutes), but also not up to the task of closing out an undeserved victory (conceded an 83rd-minute equalizer). Injuries have made things rather difficult for Jurgen Klopp, but the impending returns of Ibrahima Konate and Andrew Robertson are good cause for optimism as Liverpool try to reverse course and keep within touching distance of the top of the table.
OUT: Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Mohamed Elneny (thigh), Oleksandr Zinchenko (unknown)
Introducing our starting XI…
🇯🇵 Tomiyasu starts
🇳🇴 Odegaard returns
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Saka on the wing
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 9, 2022

OUT: Naby Keita (undisclosed), Arthur Melo (undisclosed), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), Andrew Robertson (knee), Curtis Jones (calf)
Our line-up to face Arsenal this afternoon 📋👊#ARSLIV
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 9, 2022

Follow @AndyEdMLS
The Premier League’s 10th matchweek saw confirmation that Arsenal’s moved into Liverpool’s class, Newcastle’s ahead of schedule in trying to get there, and Manchester City remains in a class of its own.
And, honestly, are we overlooking Harry Kane right now?
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Here’s a look at 10 things that stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Andy Edwards (AE), and Nicholas Mendola (NM) share their observations from across the most recent PL games.
VIDEO: PL highlights ]
1. Stretched Liverpool go for 2015, early-Klopp vibes (Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool): Jurgen Klopp’s decision to go back to a 4-2-3-1 formation was supposed to be about defensive solidity. That didn’t work at all at Arsenal. Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara were playing 25 yards deeper than the front four of Luis Diaz (who was replaced by Roberto Firmino), Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, and Mohamed Salah. There was nothing in-between. When Liverpool got the ball forward early and played direct it worked. When they didn’t they were overrun in midfield and the topsy-turvy nature of this clash reminded me of when Klopp first arrived in 2015 and his high-octane, heavy-metal football was exciting to watch but Liverpool had no balance (especially defensively) whatsoever. Klopp’s side can’t match the intensity they’ve been hailed for over the last few seasons and Arsenal’s youngsters swarmed their defense and midfield in the second half to show that Klopp has to change something drastically or Liverpool will be out of the title race… if they aren’t already. (JPW)
2. The joy has returned to Chelsea’s play (Chelsea 3-0 Wolves): It took the Blues a while to break through but it was always coming against Wolves. Chelsea’s players already seem to have embraced the extra creativity and freedom that Graham Potter’s tactics have brought to London. Chelsea looked sharp in attack even after leaving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling on the bench. There is an extra belief about their play when they’re going forward and they could have scored more than three. All over the pitch Chelsea’s players look to be enjoying playing football again and winning three games on the trot (in all competitions) will help confidence levels too. (JPW)
3. Harry Kane deserves some of the headlines hogged by Haaland (Brighton 0-1 Spurs): There’s a multi-verse in which we’re discussing the fact that Harry Kane is on pace to break the Premier League single-season goal record but Erling Haaland. Kane has eight goals in nine matches this season, on pace for 33.7 goals in a season (Can’t wait to see what that .7 looks like in real life). Unfortunately for the England captain, Erling Haaland is making the scoring leaders list look like it belongs in indoor soccer. And double unfortunately, Kane’s attempted clearance in the 90th minute coincided with Alexis Mac Allister’s left-footed shot attempt at the same ball, catching him on the back of the ankle. He had to leave the match as precaution at a minimum, and anything with Kane’s problematic ankles will be closely monitored by Spurs fans.
“It’s just a knock, I think,” Kane said after the game. (NM)
4. Alex Iwobi, Frank Lampard’s mini-me, continues to Impress (Everton 1-2 Man Utd): Frank Lampard was a unit of a midfielder who could shoot from distance. Regardless of what you think about his work as Chelsea or Everton boss, the longtime England midfielder is working wonders with Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian international came up as a winger and attacking midfielder at Arsenal but Lampard has shown him the ways of a complete midfielder. Iwobi’s goal was fantastic and reminiscent of his manager, and a fitting reward for a player who’s been Everton’s MVP early this season. Can Lampard work the same magic with former Man United man James Garner? (NM)
5. Intensity key as Man City builds momentum for huge clash (Man City 4-0 Southampton): All eyes will now be on City’s next Premier League game, their trip to Liverpool next Sunday. They are well ahead of Liverpool so far this season but their struggles at Anfield in recent seasons are well-documented and Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing style does put them off. This edition feels like peak City, though. They’re hungry to win the ball back, have quality on it when they do, and they have so many players in form and flying. It’s hard to not predict City running away with the Premier League title this season and this game coming up at Anfield will show how just how much they’ve accelerated away from Liverpool over the summer. (JPW)
6. How(e)’s he doing it so quickly? (Newcastle 5-1 Brentford): Eddie Howe, yes, has received some sensational buys in the transfer market from Newcastle’s owners, but he’s also made some inspired moves with pre-takeover Magpies. Joelinton’s move from forward to center mid has been well-documented — “J7” didn’t start on Saturday — but the rebirth of Fabian Schar as a dependable starter and the reinvigoration of Miguel Almiron and now Jacob Murphy means Newcastle’s depth is going to feel even better once Allan Saint-Maximin, Jonjo Shelvey, and Alexander Isak are ready to start. (NM)
7. West Ham growing tougher as Scamacca, Bowen find form (West Ham 3-1 Fulham): It has taken the Hammers a little while in the Premier League but they looked really sharp, as attackers Jarrod Bowen and Gianluca Scamacca stretched Fulham’s defense and had the quality to finish when chances arrived. Only some Bernd Leno brilliance stopped them scoring a few more and West Ham looked much more like themselves. (JPW)
8. Forest full of fight, but not ideas (Nottingham Forest 1-1 Aston Villa): They so nearly got there in the end, but Forest and Villa never quite managed to combine for a full 1.0 xG on Monday (they topped out at 0.95). Neither side could string anything together in the final third. It was a slog from start to finish, particularly for Forest, who accounted for just 0.28 of the xG total. Emmanuel Dennis’ goal seemed to come too early for Nottingham Forest, who immediately shrunk and became timid when the challenge of defending a one-goal lead (unlikely to score again as they were) called for courage and confidence to be the aggressors. Thus the response from Aston Villa came almost immediately and the prospect of scoring a second goal seemed even more unlikely than the first. (AE)
9. Leeds punished for early failures in front of goal (Palace 2-1 Leeds): Jesse Marsch’s men absolutely buzzed out of the gates at Selhurst Park and threatened to end any hopes of a home win with an early goal and a plethora of chances. Alas, only one crossed the line. Patrick Bamford remains goalless on the season in a long return to form. He’ll almost surely find it, but it wasn’t Sunday as Leeds only got one — a rebound off the post deposited by Pascal Struijk — and left the game wide open. Palace’s equalizer came out of nothing but its winner did not, as the Eagles found control at home and earned their three points. (NM)
10. Bournemouth defying statistics and logic (Bournemouth 2-1 Leicester): Bournemouth’s 0.48 expected goals per 90 minutes heading into Week 10 was not only the worst mark in the Premier League, but it was so by quite some way (Aston Villa, with nearly twice the output at 0.85, was the next closest). That number will climb a bit following Saturday’s result, but the Cherries will still be last in xG by a country mile. And yet, there they sit in 8th place in the PL table. (AE)

Kylian Mbappe wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the January transfer window, according to multiple reports.
Mbappe, who turns 24 in December, has reportedly grown increasingly frustrated with his usage as a center forward and was also unhappy with the club’s work in the transfer market.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 
The Frenchman signed a new and very rich contract with PSG in the summer, months after he seemed certain to leave Paris. Something about Mbappe and October don’t mix well with PSG, as it was around this time last year that he spoke out about his desire to skip town.
If true that he’s antsy to leave, it seems a bit silly for January and would probably require the end of the season.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 
Mbappe will be coming off a World Cup in November and December and is bound to Paris Saint-Germain for the UEFA Champions League season. Presumably he’s not looking to sacrifice one of his limited runs at a European Cup, and PSG should advance from its group with Juventus, Benfica, and Maccabi Haifa.
Who could realistically sign Kylian Mbappe, whether in January or beyond?
Real Madrid would be the overwhelming favorite, and the Spanish club has been linked with him for years. However, Real has Vinicius Junior currently feasting on the left side of the attack so one would have to swap sides in the Karim Benzema sandwich (Federico Valverde has been getting the right-sided run).
Another obstacle in timing? A player swap with Real Madrid would also seem the easiest route to getting a deal done, and Real will certainly have Champions League roster concerns as well.
Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Manchester United will, of course, be mentioned as well. There could be a rare bonus for clubs who’ve missed UCL duty this season but have Europa League or Europa Conference League duty if Mbappe is desperate to leave PSG in January.
Mbappe would have to believe the club will be in the UCL next season, though, as if any suitor wasn’t already shooting for solid top-four footing before the World Cup.

The Premier League Fan Fest is heading to Philadelphia in 2022, as the entire Premier League Mornings Live team will be in Philly for what promises to be an incredible weekend.
Our latest Fan Fest will take place on October 15-16 in Dilworth Park and we can’t wait to be in the City of Brotherly Love.
That weekend the huge Liverpool vs Manchester City clash takes stage (Sunday, Oct. 16 at 11:30am ET), while on the same day in the other type of football the Philadelphia Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
It will be one heck of a party in Philly.
Below are more details on the event, while all you have to do is click on the link above to sign up so you can be there.
This marks the first Fan Fest in the state of Pennsylvania and continues a period of huge celebration for soccer in Philly.
With the Philadelphia Union flying high atop the Major League Soccer standings, plus Philadelphia recently announced as one of the host cities for games at the men’s 2026 FIFA World Cup, the beauty of the beautiful game is spreading to every corner of Philly’s famous streets.
Premier League Mornings Live is BACK and we’re heading to the City of Brotherly Love!
Join us at Dilworth Park in Philadelphia October 15-16.
Details on how to register and more:
NBC Sports | @BarclaysBankUS
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 27, 2022

Philadelphia was supposed to be the site of our Fan Fest in March 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19.
“Philly’s been waiting, and we wanted to use the best opportunities at the right moment to come back,” NBC Sports’ senior vice president of consumer engagement Lyndsay Signor told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “For all of the reasons that we landed on Philly for 2020 — the fandom the city, as the heart of so many professional sports — there was never a question.
“But I think when it started to get closer to Philadelphia hosting the World Cup, and looking at some opportunities to collaborate around Sunday Night Football … it felt like a really awesome time to fire up the Philly fan base again, and bring Fan Fest back and actually be able to execute it without COVID parameters in the way.”
Alan Shearer will be at Fan Fest next weekend! Will you?
Register NOW:
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 8, 2022

Rangers host Liverpool in a crucial UEFA Champions League Group A game for the hosts, while Jurgen Klopp needs a big response from the Reds.
[ LIVE: Champions League scores
Liverpool beat Rangers 2-0 at Anfield last week but after losing 3-2 at Arsenal on Sunday, Klopp knows his side are in a tough place in the Premier League as they sit 14 points off the top of the table. At least in the Champions League they’ve won two of their three group stage games so far and a win at Rangers would leave them with a very good chance of advancing to the last 16.
As for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Rangers, they simply have to win this game to have any chance of making it out of the group as they host Ajax and head to Napoli in their final two group games after this. Rangers will look to keep it tight and then feed off the energy of the home crowd.
Below is everything you need for Rangers vs Liverpool.
Kick off: 3pm ET, Wednesday
TV Channel: TUDN, Paramount+
Online: Updates via
This is win or bust for Glasgow Rangers and there will be an incredible atmosphere at Ibrox for this all-British tie. Van Bronckhort’s side have lost their opening three Champions League group stage games without scoring a goal and they have conceded nine. That said, they gave Napoli some problems at home before a red card changed the game and they conceded three times in the final 22 minutes. Liverpool head to Glasgow with confidence levels low and injury issues building as Jurgen Klopp knows the balance is not right in his team and they are conceding way too many goals as he tinkers with the formation and personnel. There is more than a whiff of an upset in the air around this one.
Rangers forward Antonio Colak has scored six goals in his last three games in the Scottish Premiership and he may will partner Alfredo Morales up top to try and take the game to Liverpool. James Tavernier is exceptional from wide areas and Liverpool will have to be wary of his set-piece prowess. As for the Reds, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino looked particularly sharp in their defeat at Arsenal with the latter scoring and pushing for a starting spot.
It is clear that the step up to the Champions League group stage (for the first time in 11 years) has been tough for Rangers. They are delighted just to be at this stage as they battled through the qualifying rounds. That said, they have been in good form domestically and aside from their hammering by Celtic in the first Old Firm derby of the season, they look on track to challenge their bitter rivals all season long for domestic trophies. The main aim for Rangers is to keep playing in Europe beyond November and if they win their two remaining home games against Liverpool and Ajax, that will give them a great chance of at least qualifying for the Europa League knockout rounds.
Just when it looks like their injury issues were clearing up, Liverpool have lost Luis Diaz, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold. All three were injured in the defeat at Arsenal with Diaz expected to be out until the Premier League returns in late December, while Matip and TAA will be missing for at least the next two weeks. That is a big blow for Jurgen Klopp. That means he could revert to his usual 4-3-3 formation with Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago in midfield and Jota out on the left, one of Nunez and Firmino central and Salah on the right up top. Defensively Joe Gomez will come in at right back and Ibrahima Konate can slot in at center back alongside Virgil van Dijk. Andy Robertson and Curtis Jones are close to a return but Naby Keita, Arthur Melo and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain out.


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