Liverpool and Arsenal have failed to start the new Premier League season on a good note. Neither team has won a game during the first two weeks of the season. Both teams will be looking to get their first win this weekend at the other’s expense as they face off on Sunday.
It has been an interesting summer for Arsenal. They gained Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, and Lukas Podolski, but also lost their leading scorer, Robin Van Persie, and Alex Song. So far, Robin Van Persie has outscored his former team and he only has one goal this season. That is not a good sign for the men in Arsenal jerseys.
On a positive note, Arsenal has yet to concede a goal either. So if you are an Arsenal fan, you can take some comfort in the fact that you have yet to score, but were still able to draw both games. If the team is finally able to get a few goals, they should start to make their way back up the table. I believe, given a little time to adjust to the Premier League, that Giroud will be a good player for Arsenal. Giroud scored 21 goals and had nine assists in 36 Ligue 1 games last season. That is not a bad strike rate. He won’t be able to replace Van Persie right away, but by mid-season, I see him scoring plenty of goals for the Gunners. The main question is where are the goals going to come from if it does take Giroud time to settle in?
Liverpool is another team that seems to be on their way towards positive results in the Premier League. Their first game was a disaster. They conceded a penalty and were reduced to 10-men. It was a bad result, but the men in Liverpool jerseys made up for it with their performance in their second game. They tied the reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City, and deserved to win. If it weren’t for a careless mistake by Martin Skrtel, Liverpool would have won the game (To be fair, Skrtel scored a goal for Liverpool as well so he cancelled out for the day).
Brendan Rodgers has a plan for Liverpool and is trying to get the team to play his high-pressure, slick-passing game that will win the team games with style. Liverpool did miss out on signing Clint Dempsey in the transfer market today, but I think that could be a good thing for the team. Dempsey is an older player who, in my opinion, values himself higher than what his actual talent level is. I know he scored 17 goals in the Premier League last season. Before that season, how many people actually cared about Clint Dempsey, if it were not for the fact that he was an American that played fairly well for a Premier League team?
Liverpool is still a work in progress but they are heading in the right direction. Last season, the match-up between Arsenal and Liverpool would not have interested me as much as it does this weekend. I am curious how well Liverpool is able to respond after their draw against Manchester City. I am also curious to see if Arsenal is able to break through and get a goal.
Both of these teams used to be regular top-four teams. Liverpool have struggled the past few seasons and failed to reach the top-four. Arsenal has also been struggling, but always seem to finish in the top-four. With the dominance that Manchester United has shown in recent seasons, Manchester City winning the Premier League last season, and Chelsea winning the Champions League last season and starting off the new season brightly, will these two teams be able to make it in the top-four or compete to be Premier League champions this season?
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
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