Sunday, March 3, 2024

Arteta says Arsenal are “really prepared” for Liverpool, expects big atmosphere

Mikel Arteta senses “positivity and enthusiasm” in the Arsenal camp ahead of Sunday’s must-win clash with Liverpool at Emirates Stadium and is looking forward to the home support producing a big atmosphere.

The Spaniard knows his side’s title ambitions rest on a knife-edge coming into the game after damaging defeats to West Ham and Fulham afforded Jurgen Klopp’s new-look Reds a chance to storm to the top of the table.

With the gap between the sides currently standing at five points, it’s fair to say a win for the visitors, who knocked Arteta’s side out of the FA Cup in January after drawing 1-1 in the league just before Christmas, would have the Gunners on the ropes.

All the same, having beaten Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, the boss thinks his side also have momentum.

“All we need to do is play like we played the last two games against them and be more efficient in the areas that are going to decide the game,” said the boss.

“I’m very excited. It’s always great to prepare a game against Liverpool and how good they are, they dominate every aspect of the game. We play at home and what I sense is a real sense of positivity and enthusiasm around the place.”

Arteta is also hoping his side is better equipped to deal with the pressure of a title chase having gone toe-to-toe with Manchester City for long periods of last season.

“Obviously we had some big experiences and what we did last year was another big step, and this season we are trying to do something even better and we are in the Champions League as well which was a big step.

“Yeah, the squad is better, it’s true that we have some very, very important injuries, within that but I think the squad has managed really well.”

He believes the opportunity to spend some downtime with his players on a warm-weather training camp has also freshened things up.

“We had the opportunity to refresh and reconnect again when we went to Dubai and then we had a long period as well between the Palace and the Forest games and my feeling is that we continue to play really well.

“Obviously we’re much more efficient in the final third and that’s very helpful to win football matches.”

Arsenal beat Liverpool in the same fixture last season and late victories against Manchester United and Manchester City earlier this season also provides a blueprint to follow.

“Yes, we have done it [beat big teams],” he said. “This season we have beaten big teams already. And it’s another opportunity to beat Liverpool now and be in a much better place.

“We talk about momentum, we won the last two games, I want to win the third one, especially at home with our people.

“It’s going to be an incredible atmosphere and we’re going to need that. So I encourage everybody to play with us every single ball. And if we do that, we’re going to have a big chance to win the game.

“This is a game that we want to win, and we have to earn the right to win it and in order to do that we’re going to have to do so many good things because there is a reason why they are there [at the top], but as well there is a reason why we are where we are.

He added: “The team looks really ready and really prepared. It’s really looking forward to the game.

“We know that the stadium is going to be fully with us as well and we want those days. We want to have those afternoons with our supporters where we are challenging for big things and tomorrow or the next day is a big one.”

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Old bloke

Well let’s do it then!

Mayor McCheese

He played “The Angel” over loud speakers.

A Different George

We put them under incredible pressure in the first half at Anfield, something that almost never happens. In that case, if the “fine margins” had gone the other way, we might have scored four. They were much better after the interval–either team could have “won” that half. So, I’m optimistic about our chances at home.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

To win the league, you’ve got to beat other big teams. That’s what Man City Liverpool and even Chelsea (in their good years) have been doing. It’s been 20 years that we have been able to do that (don’t mean the occasional victories).

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

…haven’t been able….

TexasRed

We beat the tar out of Manchester City this year. Held them to FOUR shots. Total. FOUR. No one does that to them. Then at Liverpool we played well and drew 1-1. Could have won. On their home turf. This a new team and a new era, the last 20 years are irrelevant.

TexasRed

And we didn’t even have Saka for that City game.

Henri Like-a-new-signingsbury

Then we ruin it with other results.

Up4GrabsNow!

2-1 for us. Ode & Hav.

truj

1-0 and wasting chances after chances and celebrating like mad schoolboys at the end. Of course a yellow card for Arteta not being an emotionless machine.

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