Arsenal preview: Big test for Klopp's new look Reds

By Wayne Psaila

After a positive pre-season Jurgen Klopp's new look Liverpool will kick off the new season away to Arsenal at the Emirates this weekend.

The Emirates hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Liverpool for some time. In fact our last victory was a 2-0 win under Kenny Dalglish's second stint as coach.

Klopp has overseen a mass exodus of dead wood during the past couple of months but has also shrewdly recruited players who can instantly make an impact on the first team in the likes of Sadio Mane, Gini Wijnaldum, Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and co.

Most of the new boys have featured well in pre-season with Mane and young Grujic the standouts.

Unfortunately Klopp has had a terrible run of injuries during pre-season with Sakho, Joe Gomez, Loris Karius out and also looking unlikely are Daniel Sturridge and James Milner for the season opener.

On the bright side up front, Divock Origi looks back to his late season sharpness again and will hopefully be a source of goals for the Reds in the absence of Sturridge. The link up between Coutinho, Firmino and Mane also should give a depleted Arsenal, who have their own injury woes, something to think about.

The midfield area is an interesting one - Klopp will likely start with a 3 man midfield of Can, Henderson and Lallana. Though Wijnaldum may start too for either Henderson or Lallana.

Klopp is likely to partner Lovren with the veteran Estonian, Klavan in the centre of defense. Out wide the reliable Clyne and polarising Moreno will patrol the flanks. Mignolet is preferred in goal in the absense of the injured Karius.

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It's going to be tough but Liverpool should take heart from their pre-season, especially their emphatic 4-0 demoliton of Barcelona at Wembley this weekend past - that said the 4-0 defeat to Mainz 24 hours later should also keep feet firmly on the ground. The Gunners are without a host of first team players and Liverpool will look to pressure early and hopefully come away with a rare win to kickstart the campaign.



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