Arsenal v Liverpool - Sunday 16:00, Sky Sports 1
The pick of the opening round of fixtures sees Liverpool travel to the Emirates fresh from a 4-0 hammering of Barcelona at Wembley after an impressive performance from new signing Mane. Conversely, new players have once again been hard to come by for Arsenal, with Xhaka still their only significant addition, though Arsene Wenger will no doubt reassure fans that Jack Wilsherse’s return to fitness will be like having a new signing!
The Gunners have won 24 of their 38 home games in the last two seasons, but only eight of the 18 that were against fellow top-half sides. Meanwhile the Reds managed some impressive away results once Klopp took over last season, including victories at the Etihad and Stamford Bridge, together with a goalless draw at Spurs.
Whilst the former Dortmund boss seems to have done most of his transfer business, Wenger looks set to leave it late again and will also be without Koscielny, Mertesacker, Giroud and Ozil, whilst injuries mean that Chambers and Holding could be the starting centre-backs. The Gunners have lost opening fixtures at home to West Ham and Villa in the last three seasons, perhaps due to unrest amongst the Emirates faithful at the lack of transfer activity, and we could see something similar here. With Klopp naming Firmino as Liverpool’s player of pre-season, it’s worth backing the in-form Brazilian to be the one to do the damage.