The England winger, who was forced to enter the game late last weekend against Leeds as a substitute due to illness, starts today in place of Leandro Trossard, who drops to the bench.
In a Friday press conference, Mikel Arteta discussed his upfront options, saying, “It depends on the moment, what we want to do, the quality we are seeking, and the relationships that we want on certain days.”
It’s great for us because you can swap out five players and completely alter the course of the game. “Right now, that’s a fantastic problem to have” because “they’re all looking really good.”
Aside from Saka’s return, the starting lineup is unchanged from the 4-1 victory over Leeds at the Emirates: Rob Holding and Gabriel continue to start at center back, while Ben White and Alex Zinchenko remain on the wings.
The midfielders are Martin Odegaard (the captain), Granit Xhaka, and Thomas Partey. Jurgen Klopp substitutes five players from Liverpool’s starting lineup that played in Wednesday’s scoreless draw with Chelsea. Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Andrew Robertson, Cody Gakpo, and Mo Salah have all returned.
Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, and Jesus represent Arsenal in the lineup. Turner, Tierney, Walters, Kiwior, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Nelson, and Trossard are all available as replacements.
Aaron Ramsdale Is Our Goalkeeper
Matt Turner is unlikely to pull Aaron Ramsdale out of the starting lineup in goal unless Ramsdale suffers an injury before the game. The English goalkeeper has been phenomenal this season, starting all 29 Premier League games for Arsenal and recording 13 shutouts.
After being denied a 14th last weekend by a Rasmus Kristensen late goal for Leeds, Ramsdale will be hoping to make up for lost ground tonight.
Saliba is still recovering from a back injury, so Arsenal is likely to stick with the same back four that allowed only one goal in a 4-1 win over Leeds last weekend. Arteta has hinted that the Frenchman could play in Saturday’s game at Anfield, but he won’t be rushed back into the starting lineup.
Gunners manager Sven Mislintat said, “No, no real changes with the rest of the players that were still injured,” in response to a question about Saliba and the rest of his injured players. One of them may be trainable, so there is hope, but only time will tell.
Official Team Updates
Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Jota
Subs: Gomez, Thiago, Milner, Firmino, Elliott, Tsimikas, Nunez, Matip, Kelleher
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Xhaka, Martinelli; Jesus
Subs: Tierney, Smith Rowe, Kiwior, Trossard, Jorginho, Vieira, Nelson, Turner, Walters
Sunday 4.30 pm BST, Sky Sports
Referee: Paul Tierney
Arsenal squad from Hein, Ramsdale, Turner; Gabriel, Holding, Kiwior, Tierney, White, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Trossard, Vieira, Xhaka; Jesus, Martinelli, Nelson.
Where Does William Saliba Stand Now?
A back injury suffered by Arsenal’s starting center-back in the first half of their Europa League second-leg loss to Sporting CP forced him to leave the game.
Saliba has been injured and has missed Arsenal’s two most recent games, victories over Crystal Palace and Leeds. Mikel Arteta has said that he is optimistic that Saliba will return to action this season, but that the club may have to manage the defender’s workload for the rest of the year.
“I am very hopeful and he is as well,” Arteta said. “Injuries to the back are complex because of the way they develop in response to the weight you carry. Let’s see how far we can push him and how he responds. He really wants to get back on the squad.”
Saliba’s return date is uncertain as Arsenal is taking it slow with the defender’s rehabilitation. He may not make it to Liverpool for the game.
Liverpool’s Defense As A Whole Is Having Trouble, Not Just Van Dijk
Arsenal is still without William Saliba, so Rob Holding will start alongside Gabriel in central defense.
On the left side, Gabriel Martinelli has replaced Leandro Trossard, and Bukayo Saka has returned after being sick and relegated to the bench for last weekend’s match against Leeds.
Due to his injury, Eddie Nketiah is still out of commission. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Mohamed Salah, and Cody Gakpo are the five players recalled by Liverpool from their match against Chelsea last week.
To make room, please move Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Roberto Firmino, and Darwin Nunez. After two months, Thiago is included in the list of substitutes. It’s a big day for Curtis Jones, who is making his first back-to-back starts in the Premier League since May of 2022.
Ask away, and our man in Liverpool, James Pearce, will chime in with answers before the game at Anfield gets underway. Then, analyze the team sheet, discuss the overall and individual performances, and speculate on the rest of the season’s implications based on Jurgen Klopp’s tactics.