LONDON. — Arsenal are one of the few sides that have managed to get the upper hand over English Premiership football Liverpool over the past 12 months — a situation which Jurgen Klopps wants to end now.
The Gunners inflicted a 2-1 defeat on the newly crowned English Premier League champions in July, only their third league defeat of the entire 2019-20 season as Klopp’s charges cruised to the club’s first title since 1990.
And they once more got the upper-hand in the sides’ next meeting, drawing 1-1 at Wembley in the Community Shield before prevailing in the resulting penalty shoot-out.
Arsenal nevertheless have a wretched recent record at Anfield, last winning at the Reds’ home all the way back in 2012 and losing six of the subsequent eight meetings.
Klopp recognises that Liverpool have a score to settle after those recent adverse results and called on his players to take revenge in tonight’s match at Anfield.
The match kicks-off at 9pm.
“We want to strike back,” Klopp explained to reporters ahead of tonight’s clash at Anfield.
“Let me say it like this — that is the situation we are in and it can be a better situation depending on how we use it.
“Results give confidence, but analysis is there so you can judge the games in the right way.
“It’s not like Arsenal smashed us and we had absolutely no chance, so they know it’s a different game and we know it’s a different game.
“So the last result, in this case is not too long ago, it’s just one information and not the only information.”
Liverpool have started their Premier League defence with back-to-back victories while advancing in the Carabao Cup midweek with a 7-2 thrashing of Lincoln City.
Curtis Jones was one of the Reds’ stars, netting twice and contributing a further assist, and Klopp was delighted to see the youngster build his confidence in the first team.
“Self-confidence for a football player is really important,” Klopp added.
“Usually you play in front of 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70 000 people and without confidence that is not possible. I can tell you.
“Doing the right thing in the right moment helps as well. That is what he had to learn over the last two years because he was maybe the top player of each age group he was in and he had to learn to play together with other players.
“He made massive steps in that department and had brilliant role models in the squad. Now the door is open.”
Meanwhile, Klopp expects an “open race” as multiple teams compete for Premier League glory this season, insisting it will not just be a shoot-out between Liverpool and Manchester City.
The German brought the top-flight trophy back to Anfield for the first time in 30 years last term, with the Reds finishing 18 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s side, who themselves were 15 ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea.
Despite that huge gap, Klopp believes it will be a close-run thing this term, with the Liverpool boss including Tottenham and tonight’s opponents Arsenal in the mix.
The Gunners finished a distant eighth, 43 points shy of the champions’ incredible tally of 99, and yet Klopp considers Mikel Arteta’s side, who beat Liverpool in the Community Shield on spot-kicks, challengers.
“They came eighth because they did not have a time to sort the situation,” he said, referencing the fact Arteta was not appointed until December.
“They were not the eighth best team in the league, they could’ve qualified easily for Europe (via the league), if not even the Champions League.
“The Premier League and these teams are too good, you can’t decide the season before it starts. It just doesn’t work like this.
“Man City, I think maybe people thought they could have some struggles at Wolves because Wolves are really good . . . and in the second half they could have got a point.
“Nobody is safe from this kind of thing, so we have to work incredibly hard. And over the other teams we have no influence. When we face them, we want to beat them.
“It’s an open race, Chelsea will be there, (Manchester) United will be there, Arsenal, Tottenham — these teams will always be there.
“There are tough moments for us and other teams and it’s about how you react and are you doing it in the right way.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to go through a lot of moments. I don’t know why today we talk about winning the league, I have no idea who will win but I know a lot of teams will try.”
Liverpool have started their title defence with wins over Leeds United and Chelsea, scoring six goals in the process. — Goal.com