By Mihail Vladimirov.
Samir Nasri was included in Arsenal’s squad despite his “imminent” move to Manchester City. The Gunners were without suspended duo Gervinho and Alex Song while defenders Johan Djourou, Kieran Gibbs (both hamstring) and Armand Traore (groin) were also missing. Tomas Rosicky (thigh) was rested after the mid-week Champions League game with Udinese, while Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby (ankle) were still out.
Glen Johnson was was missing for Liverpool, with the Liverpool management opting to keep him out as they had done on the opening weekend. Steven Gerrard was also still unavailable.
These games have a history of being exciting – obviously last season we saw the latest goal in Premier League history (after 102 minutes), and the fixture has also produced more hat tricks than any other since Sky invented football in 1992.
Liverpool had won only one of their last 11 against Arsenal, although they did manage to salvage six draws. Arsenal may have been in form against Liverpool (losing none of their last 11 at home to the Reds), but they are in poor form in general, when last season is included. They have won just two matches in their last 12 in the league, although did gain a narrow victory over Udinese.
Arsenal’s disciplinary record at Newcastle last week was poor – five yellow cards, one red and one retrospective red for Song – and led to the suspensions of Gervinho and Song. Suarez, meanwhile, drew more fouls (6) than anyone else on the opening weekend. Liverpool needed to be wary of Robin van Persie, however, who had scored 17 in his previous 16 starts.
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