Arsenal

Arsenal footage hints at secret Mikel Arteta plan to stop Mohamed Salah in Liverpool clash

Latest Arsenal news with Mikel Arteta potentially having a secret Mohamed Salah in place for this weekend’s clash against Liverpool

Mikel Arteta heads into this weekend’s huge Premier League clash against Liverpool with one major Arsenal concern. Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been in superb form for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season and the right-hand side duo will be hoping to make a similar impact on Saturday.

In last season’s 3-2 victory for the Gunners over Liverpool at Emirates Stadium, both Salah and Alexander-Arnold were successfully nullified by Takehiro Tomiyasu, however Arsenal will have to do without the Japan international on Merseyside. In December’s 2-1 victory against Wolves, Tomiyasu picked up a calf injury which Arteta later confirmed would see him miss up to six weeks of action.

As a result, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White have been chosen as the regular full-backs with Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey as the other full-back options out injured. The versatile Jakub Kiwior has also been deployed at left-back with the Poland international starting the 4-3 win over Luton Town, however he was substituted off just past the hour mark.

 

The Hatters frequently targeted Kiwior as a weak point with the 23-year-old playing just one minute in the last two league games, although he started the final Champions League group stage clash against PSV. While no Tomiyasu is a blow, having Declan Rice and William Saliba for this season’s clash is a massive boost for Arteta, however there are concerns surrounding the battle Zinchenko may face.

The Ukraine international was culpable of letting Wolves back into the game in November’s 2-1 victory, and there are fears more defensive errors will follow, however Arteta has a clear alternative and that was evidenced by clips from the latest training session at London Colney. A four-minute video was posted to Arsenal’s official website on Friday showing the work put in by the Arsenal players in their final training session before taking on Liverpool.

A rondo was one drill on show with numerous one-touch passes catching the eye, however it was one moment from Kiwior which stood out. After the defenders in the middle had been bypassed on several occasions, Kiwior put in a firm tackle to win possession back and that defensive timing and accuracy could be needed at Anfield

While Zinchenko is extremely valuable to the Gunners in possession, his flaws were exposed in the 2-2 draw earlier this year when he was bypassed far too easily for Roberto Firmino’s equaliser. If the Gunners can repeat their first half fortunes, an early tactical switch could be made by Arteta with Kiwior in for Zinchenko.

Alternatively, Arteta could make the bold call to include him from the off with it somewhat plausible Jorginho returns and pushes Declan Rice into a more advanced role in search of more control.

While Zinchenko is extremely valuable to the Gunners in possession, his flaws were exposed in the 2-2 draw earlier this year when he was bypassed far too easily for Roberto Firmino’s equaliser. If the Gunners can repeat their first half fortunes, an early tactical switch could be made by Arteta with Kiwior in for Zinchenko.

Alternatively, Arteta could make the bold call to include him from the off with it somewhat plausible Jorginho returns and pushes Declan Rice into a more advanced role in search of more control.

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