All the key match details you need to know ahead of Liverpool's Premier League encounter with Arsenal.
The two teams will put their 100 per cent records on the line at Anfield on Saturday for the 5.30pm BST kick-off.
How to follow
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also listen to live commentary of the full 90 minutes here on Liverpoolfc.com, with Steve Hunter joined by Hughie McAuley in the ground to call the action as it happens.
Get post-match reaction on LFCTV GO after the full-time whistle, with short match highlights available from 9.30pm BST.
Extended highlights will be published at midnight. Join LFCTV GO now and claim your first month for free.
The last meeting
Roberto Firmino scored a hat-trick as the Reds took down the Gunners 5-1 at Anfield.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles put the visitors 1-0 up, but Firmino netted twice in 90 seconds and completed the scoring from the penalty spot. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were also on the scoresheet.
What the managers say
“We have to be brave, have to play your own football, you have to try to keep possession, you have to be direct. There are a lot of things to do and consider, against a very strong opponent. That’s why I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the early part of the season but these games will come up anyway. Now it’s pretty early and we have to show we are ready again.”
"We need to take our best performance and to go there with a good feeling and also thinking we can achieve that performance individually and collectively to be strong and to have our chances. We are looking forward to going there and showing that."
Liverpool's last 11 meetings with Arsenal in the Premier League have produced 50 goals – an average of 4.5 goals per game.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday
Roberto Firmino will become the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals if he nets against Arsenal on Saturday.
The No.9 bagged a hat-trick in the equivalent fixture at Anfield last season and has struck more goals against the Gunners than any other team - scoring eight times in eight outings.
Two goals for Firmino on Saturday would also see him become Liverpool's most prolific scorer against Arsenal in league history. Gordon Hodgson and Robbie Fowler are currently tied in first place on nine goals.
For more need-to-know pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on...
Liverpool's 54 Premier League encounters with Arsenal have produced 155 goals. It is the highest-scoring Reds fixture in the competition - equal with their games against Tottenham Hotspur.
The Reds have won four of the last six meetings and are unbeaten in the last eight, with four victories and four draws.
Liverpool have not gone unbeaten in nine successive league fixtures against the Gunners since February 2000, which came in a sequence of 12.
The last 11 clashes with Arsenal in the Premier League have produced 50 goals - an average of 4.5 goals per game.
The Reds have scored 22 times in the last six league clashes on Merseyside and have won the last three by margins of 3-1, 4-0 and 5-1.
Liverpool have scored from the 90th minute onwards against Arsenal in three of the last five Anfield fixtures. The games have produced 17 goals in added time in the Premier League era.
Sadio Mane has found the net in nine of his last 11 Anfield league appearances, scoring 13 goals in the process. In this calendar year, he has scored 20 goals in 28 home and away appearances for the Reds in all competitions.
The Senegalese has scored four times in six appearances for Liverpool against the Gunners.
Jordan Henderson could captain Liverpool for the 100th time in the Premier League on Saturday.
Last season saw the Reds score four or more goals against the Gunners in successive home league encounters for the first time since 1922. They have never done so three seasons in a row.
Liverpool have now won 11 league games in a row - equalling their Premier League record. A victory on Saturday will see them match their all-time club league record of 12, which was set from April to October in 1990.
Liverpool and Arsenal will put their 100 per cent records on the line when they meet at Anfield for Saturday's top-of-the-table Premier League clash.
As the only top-flight clubs to have won each of their first two league games of the 2019-20 campaign - the Reds beat Norwich City and Southampton, while the Gunners saw off Newcastle United and Burnley - the pair sit first and second in the early standings.
Earlier this week, Arsenal boss Unai Emery joked that he would rather not have to face Jürgen Klopp's European champions at all this season, but noted that the trip to Merseyside would provide a "good test" of how his side have progressed.
The Londoners suffered a 5-1 defeat on Merseyside last term, but went on to finish just a point outside the Champions League places in Emery's first season in charge.
Arsenal continued to rebuild and strengthen the squad during the summer and broke the club's transfer record to land Nicolas Pepe.
So, what can we expect from the new-look Gunners at Anfield on Saturday? We caught up with the Daily Mirror's chief football writer, John Cross (@johncrossmirror), who has charted Emery's evolution since his arrival at the Emirates, to get the lowdown...
How do you rate Arsenal's transfer business this summer?
A hugely impressive end to the transfer window from a position where most people thought they’d struggle to get enough business done to strengthen the squad to really compete.
To sign a centre-half (David Luiz), left-back (Kieran Tierney), midfielder (Dani Ceballos), a forward (Nicolas Pepe) and one for the future (Gabriel Martinelli) on a tight budget (they ended up with a net spend of around £45m once you sell Alex Iwobi and spread the Pepe payments) is really impressive.
Nicolas Pepe's deal was the headline signing, what will he bring to the team?
I think Emery’s biggest concern last season was a lack of creativity and he wanted to add an element of unpredictability. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were prolific but Arsenal needed to create more. That's where Pepe comes in: he’s quick, good at dribbling and will create space and chances.
What are Arsenal's expectations under Emery this season?
Top four. That’s the target, it’s three years out of the Champions League now and they can’t afford to be out for much longer.
Have there been any changes or evolution in the Spaniard's tactics this term?
The only noticeable thing so far is that Emery seems to have settled on a back four. Last season they struggled to settle on a system, switching between formations most weeks and it did not allow Arsenal to get into a rhythm or routine.
But Emery inherited an unbalanced squad, it was not his own, and to go so close to the top four and a European trophy was still impressive. If he can find a more settled line-up this season, I think they can finish top four.
Who is going to be the Gunners' star player this season?
Lacazette was player of the year last season so don’t discount him or Aubameyang, but Pepe and Ceballos look really exciting.
What have you made of Liverpool in the early stages of the season?
I’ve seen more of Liverpool than Arsenal, to be honest, and been impressed. I still think not signing more players is a gamble, but Liverpool will be right up there. They are brilliant to watch; I love Klopp’s energy and I am expecting another big season.
Where do you see the game being won and lost at Anfield?
If Liverpool are at their best, I think they will win. Arsenal still look vulnerable in defence (they’ll get better once Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Tierney are fit) and Liverpool can blow teams away. Arsenal will need to be at their best and hope Liverpool give them chances to get a result.
How do you expect the Gunners to line up? Will Pepe get his first start?
I’m not sure on Pepe, Emery is still trying to ease him in slowly. Reiss Nelson has been starting, so it’ll be him or Pepe.
What's your prediction for the match?
Liverpool to win 2-0.
Premier League 2019-20 Premier League 2019-20
Saturday, August 24, 2019, 5.30pm (BST)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Every time this Reds side is challenged, they seem to produce an emphatic response.
The performance wasn’t the most stylish, but it was further evidence of the belief and determination that exists among these players.
Having been afforded a week on the training ground, Liverpool face a potential cracker at home to a dangerous Arsenal outfit on Saturday.
The Gunners have won their opening two league games, like the Reds, and although they are yet to fully click in the final third, they have a plethora of top-class attackers to choose from.
Matches between these two sides are so often classics, with 35 goals in the last seven meetings alone.
It’s hard to see the defences come out on top at Anfield, especially as Liverpool are failing to convince in that area.
There are likely to be goals and drama at either end, but ultimately, the superiority of Klopp’s men should shine through.Team News
In midfield, Klopp has a refreshed group of individuals to choose from, so his selections are likely to be a gauge of who he cherishes most in the big games.
Salah, Mane and Firmino are all fit and raring to go, so there is no reason for Klopp to leave any of them out.
Arsenal are without new signings William Saliba and Kieran Tierney, while Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil may miss out, too.
Unai Emery could go with the same side that won 2-1 at home to Burnley last Saturday, but starting youngsters Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson would be a risk.
Potential Arsenal XI: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal; Guendouzi, Ceballos, Willock; Pepe, Lacazette, AubameyangLast 5 at Home to Arsenal (All Competitions)
Won 5-1 – December 2018 (Firmino x3, Mane, Salah; Maitland-Niles)
Won 4-0 – August 2017 (Firmino, Mane, Salah, Sturridge)
Won 3-1 – March 2017 (Firmino, Mane, Wijnaldum; Welbeck)
Drew 3-3 – January 2016 (Firmino x2, Allen; Ramsey, Giroud x2)
Drew 2-2 – December 2014 (Coutinho, Skrtel; Debuchy, Giroud)
A win on Saturday would see the Reds not only eclipse that but also draw level with the best run in the club’s history, set by Sir Kenny Dalglish’s side back in 1990.
It further highlights how special this team is.Klopp’s View
Speaking to the press on Friday, Klopp hailed the current team spirit that exists among his Champions League-winning players:
“The spirit in the team could not be better in the moment, they won the Champions League last season together, and won [30 games in the league].
“If they would not be close [after that], that would be really funny.
“They’re very close, but what you need is a competitive team spirit as well, you have kick the butts of your team-mates in the right moment.
“You need a very competitive team spirit to be really difficult to beat and all that stuff.
“It’s not about wanting to have a drink together every night, it’s about doing the right things and knowing much better than others for whom you are doing it.
“For your mate, for your best friend maybe, for whatever.”TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool vs. Arsenal is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 5pm (BST), with kickoff at Anfield at 5.30pm.
Chris Williams is the man in charge of This is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you up to date with events from 4.45pm.
Liverpool have no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Arsenal, but Naby Keita will miss the Premier League game at Anfield along with Alisson Becker.
Jürgen Klopp told the media on Friday that Keita is ‘doing well’ in his recovery from the muscle strain he suffered prior to the UEFA Super Cup meeting with Chelsea, although the midfielder remains unavailable.
“’Long-term’ doesn’t mean six months, it means a couple of weeks,” the boss said of Keita, during his pre-match press conference.
“So no, no real news. He’s still doing well but not close enough for this weekend.”
Klopp also provided a positive update on Alisson, saying that the goalkeeper is making good progress following the calf issue he picked up against Norwich City a fortnight ago.
However, the fixture with the Gunners comes too soon for the Brazil international to be considered for a return.
“He looks good, he is in good shape, a good mood, but it will take time, I don’t know [how long] exactly,” the manager stated.
When asked if he has any fresh fitness worries, Klopp replied: “Apart from the long-term injuries, no, not that I know of.”
PL, 2019-20 PL, 2019-20
For Arsenal, Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding have returned to full training, but Kieran Tierney (groin), Hector Bellerin (knee), Emile Smith-Rowe and Konstantinos Mavropanos (both groin) are sidelined.
On the potential availability of Ozil and Xhaka at Anfield, Unai Emery told the media on Thursday: "Tomorrow [Friday] is the last training and we are going to decide tomorrow. Today [Thursday] they trained, but really, I need tomorrow to have the last training, to be really sure how we can be better there.
"I know some players need to be fit and to improve 100 per cent to be in their best fitness. But tomorrow is the day. Really I am positive with some players for Saturday but I don't want to decide today or to say to you today how we are because tomorrow can change."
The Gunners' boss also hinted that summer signing Nicolas Pepe could be in line to make his first start for the club.
Emery said: "In the first match, he played 15 minutes in Newcastle, then he played 45 minutes against Burnley. I think his individual performances are progressively getting better.
"For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes. I am going to decide tomorrow."
Last time out
Southampton 1-2 Liverpool (August 17): Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Arsenal 2-1 Burnley (August 17): Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Willock, Nelson, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Friday, as the weekend clash with Arsenal fast approaches.
The Reds skipper has gained a new legion of admirers in recent times, however, after leading his side to Champions League glory last season.
Speaking to the BBC World Service, Alonso has lauded Henderson for his quality as a player, highlighting his importance to the team both on and off the pitch:
“Jordan Henderson has become a figure in the changing room.
“I think he’s so respected, so important for his team-mates – that’s the sense I get from watching in the stands.
“For the way they play it’s very important, the energy he has.
“He’s able to take that step forwards, not backwards to make that pressure a bit higher.
“The way he connects with the three players up front, they play very direct and the way Liverpool is playing is the Jurgen way – the way they played at Dortmund with him and the way they play at Liverpool now.”
Henderson looks set to start against Arsenal on Saturday evening, taking up the more attack-minded midfield spot he has made his own since the back end of last season.Van Dijk Eyes Future Scouting Role
Virgil van Dijk famously wasn’t tipped to become a future superstar as a youngster, with numerous scouts seemingly missing his brilliance.
In an interview with Optus Sport, the Dutchman has discussed becoming a scout himself in the future, with management something that doesn’t appeal to him long-term:
“At the beginning of my career I thought I might be a manager but at this point I don’t think I will become a manager.
“But I think I will definitely be involved in football.
“I won’t be a pundit because you have to be saying certain things that you might not even want to, but you have to.
“We’ll see, I think I have a good eye for spotting talent so maybe I’ll do something like that.”
If Van Dijk’s eye for a top player ends up being as good as his eye for picking out an inch-perfect pass, he’ll do pretty well!Adekanye Issue Set to be Resolved
Bobby Adekanye’s move to Lazio was clouded in potential controversy, amid reports that the Serie A club may have tapped up the young winger.
Liverpool have opened a dispute case that could have ruled Adekanye out of Lazio’s opening league game away to Sampdoria on Sunday, but that won’t be the case.
According to Calciomercato, “FIFA have officially announced that the forward has temporary membership as a player of Lazio whilst the dispute is fully settled,” meaning he will be available.
Essentially, it looks increasingly as though nothing will come of this issue, with Adekanye pushing on his career, having opted to leave Liverpool for more first-team opportunities.Nike Kit Deal Claims “Premature”
On Thursday, it was claimed that Liverpool were “on the verge” of signing a new record-breaking kit deal with Nike.
Those reports may have been a little on the premature side, however, with the Liverpool Echo stating that the Reds are “still listening to offers from various manufacturers across the globe, including current supplier New Balance.”
Liverpool’s current deal with New Balance expires at the end of this season, having started back in 2015, with some claiming a change in manufacturer is on the cards.
Don’t go switching your allegiances to Nike just yet, though!Torres Hangs Up his Boots
Want to feel old?
Fernando Torres is officially no longer a professional footballer, having played the last game of his long and distinguished career on Friday.
In eerily similar fashion to the end of Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool career away to Stoke, El Nino’s Sagan Tosu side were thumped 6-1 by Vissel Kobe in the Japanese J1 League.
Torres will be remembered as one of the best strikers of his generation at his peak, with the prime years of his career spent at Anfield between 2007 and 2009.
The Spanish legend scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for the Reds, and while his move to Chelsea in 2011 angered many, he should be remembered as a modern Liverpool great.
A dedicated VAR operation at Anfield will ensure information is relayed to supporters inside the stadium as quickly as possible throughout the Premier League season.
Video Assistant Referees are to be used for every league fixture in 2019-20 in the event of clear and obvious errors, or serious missed incidents, in four match-changing situations: goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents, and mistaken identity.
Preparations for the implementation of the technology at Anfield – which, due to the absence of a big screen, were different to the majority of Premier League clubs – began months before a ball was kicked.
As it happened, there were no VAR reviews across the 90 minutes as Liverpool finally got their campaign under way with a 4-1 home win over Norwich City.
But when one does occur in future matches, a process of communication is in place to quickly keep fans updated.
Using the exact wording of the VAR live information feed, the VAR operator positioned in the control room at Anfield will announce the nature of the review over the public address system first and subsequently on the two scoreboards inside the ground.
When a final decision is made, it will be announced via the same process – PA system and then scoreboards – followed by confirmation that the review is complete.
“It’s all about giving fans information and getting that information to them as quickly as you can,” explained Ian Barker, the club’s assistant stadium manager.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than if you’re a fan and you’re just standing there, nothing is happening, no-one is telling you anything and you can’t see anything.
“So, basically the quicker we can get the information to them, the better for them.
“For the opening game against Norwich, the operator was up there, coiled like a spring! And ready. But nothing happened, so we’ll see for Arsenal on Saturday.”
Premier League clubs unanimously voted for the introduction of VAR from the current season in November 2018.
Liverpool’s clash with the Canaries therefore marked its top-flight debut at Anfield, but it was not the first time the system had been used at the stadium.
The technology had previously been deployed for several domestic cup games and each of the Reds’ three Champions League knockout ties at home last season.
“The Premier League is slightly different in the way they do things than we did in the cup and Champions League. It’s similar but slightly different. But it certainly helped that we’d had it here before,” said Barker, who has been at LFC for more than two decades and was involved throughout the implementation of VAR facilities at Anfield.
“The Premier League sent us all their technical requirements for VAR for the coming season. We put in place the additional power points needed in various locations around the stadium. And then additional cabling, infrastructure and fibre in different locations in the stadium, ready for VAR for this season.
“There are challenges in all stadiums, it’s different routes and ways. But I’ve worked here for 24 years and the people around me, a lot of them have worked here for a very long time, so most of the places where we need to get power and cables and infrastructure, there are normally cable routes that are already there.
“There were maybe half-a-dozen additional power points put in. And there were 10 cable fibres that we took from the OB [outside broadcast] compound, which is at Anfield Road, up to George Sephton’s room. We had to take fibre up there so they have got the link from Hawk-Eye to the VAR monitor where the operator sits.”
Video Assistant Referees, based at Stockley Park, west London, are designated for each Premier League fixture and constantly monitor the action.
In line with its philosophy of ‘minimum interference – maximum benefit’ the league’s guidelines set “a high bar for VAR to intervene on subjective decisions, to maintain the pace and intensity of matches”.
When a review is required in relation to one or more of the four aforementioned situations, the referee will halt play at the next stoppage of the game until a decision has been reached.
The final decision will always be taken by the on-field referee, who also has the option of using the Referee Review Area to view VAR incidents. At Anfield, the RRA is located in the Main Stand tunnel.
It is only during a review phase that VAR communications are delivered to fans inside the stadium.
The system will next be in operation at Anfield for Saturday evening’s meeting with Arsenal.
For Barker, there is a natural anticipation to witness the first use during a match.
“Yes, I am [eager],” he added.
“It’s the first time and you’re going to make a PA announcement to 54,000 people. I’m sure the operator wants to get the first one out of the way, and then of course they have got to type the message into the scoreboard.
“But I’ve got a lot of confidence, I’m sure it will be fine. You’ve just got to do the best you can.”
James Milner headed to Anfield Sports and Community Centre (ASCC) this week to visit participants of LFC Foundation’s summer camps.
The Reds’ vice-captain met with youngsters attending football and multi-sports camps - which are funded through his own charity, The James Milner Foundation (JMF) - to see first-hand how participants benefit from the sessions.
For the past three years, JMF has made an annual donation of £16k to LFC Foundation, allowing local Anfield children to enjoy safe and fun activities throughout school holidays.
Free-of-charge camps run during the half-term and summer breaks and offer youngsters the chance to take part in a variety of sports including football, dodgeball, cricket, hockey and rugby - with over 1,000 young people benefitting from the sessions to date.
Together, LFC Foundation and JMF aim to encourage children aged 6-15 years to participate in healthy recreation and lead more active lifestyles.
Both charities promote physical activity in young people throughout the UK by focusing on the development, improvement and provision of sporting opportunities – with a particular focus on football, rugby and cricket.
The Reds’ strong start faces the biggest test yet in a first heavyweight clash of the campaign against the Gunners.
After a hectic opening to the season, Klopp and his players will have relished having a full week to recover, train and prepare fully for Saturday’s match.
It should mean that the squad is recharged and raring to go, handing Klopp plenty of selection options with every available player hoping for the nod.
So who will feature and how could Liverpool’s starting XI look against Arsenal?Unchanged Squad Available
Klopp, therefore, has an unchanged squad at his disposal and will face some interesting decisions with his defence and midfield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain—fresh from a new contract and who Klopp said is “in the best shape”—will hope that doesn’t come at his expense.
James Milner will also be hoping to be retained.
An array of squad options are available, but it is unlikely any will force their way into Klopp’s starting XI at this stage.Liverpool’s XI vs. the Gunners
Klopp made a few sensible rotation changes at Southampton but Liverpool’s strongest XI will be back in operation at Anfield.
That could see an unchanged defence feature—meaning Matip again joins Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Robertson to complete the back four.
As the men with fresh legs, Fabinho and Henderson are certain to return to midfield after dropping to the bench at St Mary’s.
Milner is the most likely candidate to make way but who also drops out with the No. 7 is an interesting call.
A third successive start could be too much for Oxlade-Chamberlain, so Wijnaldum may get the nod to hand Klopp a solid rather than spectacular midfield unit as usually preferred in big games.
That stable trio will provide the platform for the typical front three to work their game-changing magic in the final third:
There would, then, be no place for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
At a time he has just showed signs of finding rhythm and form, it would be great to see the No. 15 keep his place and build on that promising St Mary’s showing.
Klopp was full of praise for the attacking midfielder in his press conference, stating that he is “in the best shape that I can remember.”
Those words suggest that the 26-year-old may well in fact be ready to put his old club to the sword.
Fabinho, Henderson and Oxlade-Chamberlain would then become the central unit, providing greater creativity and attacking threat.
This more adventurous midfield may need to be balanced out in part by some fresh legs in defence.
Klopp could throw a curve-ball by introducing him at right-back for extra defensive security in a big game—like seen in the UEFA Super Cup final:
Both lineups are extremely strong but the final selection ultimately hinges on how aggressive Klopp wants to be in the first top-six clash of the season.
It would be nice to see the more progressive midfield deployed to take the game to Arsenal, but the tried-and-trusted lineup may be favoured.
Though Liverpool “don’t really have a problem” with unsettled players at this stage, Jurgen Klopp has called for a review of the English transfer deadline.
Introduced ahead of last season, the transfer window now closes ahead of the Premier League campaign, with clubs unable to sign players beyond August 8 this year.
But confounding the original plans, the top leagues in the likes of Spain, Germany, Italy and France are still able to conduct business, which opens up the prospect of players swapping England for a new venture abroad.
The Reds are in a comfortable position at this stage, with Dejan Lovren the only subject of real speculation, but regardless Klopp has criticised the current setup in England.
“I don’t care when it closes, I only think it must close at the same time. When that is I don’t care,” he said on Friday.
“That was the idea in the first place, when they spoke about ‘let’s finish it before the season starts’.
“Then everyone knows and can plan with the squad, that’s a good idea.
“But then only England did it and all the rest didn’t do it, and that makes no sense; in that moment England should have said ‘OK, it’s only for all or nobody’.
“[Keeping it this way] really makes no sense. If somebody could explain to me what the benefit is for the Premier League, what is it?
“We don’t really have a problem, but other teams, key players are still ‘on the market’, kind of, and anything can happen.
“You want to have the team not only together, you want to have the team together and focused on the future.
“That’s not possible as long as there is a door open.”
Klopp has only used 14 outfield players in Liverpool’s three competitive games so far, with the likes of Lovren, Xherdan Shaqiri, Adam Lallana or youngsters Rhian Brewster and Harvey Elliott yet to feature.
This has led to Shaqiri in particular to be considered misused, with the winger himself vocal in his frustration at a lack of game time.
But continuing his argument against England’s early deadline, Klopp highlighted the upcoming period as one in which clubs are required to utilised their full squad.
“These weeks now are not the most intense weeks of the season, so you need the squad from matchday five, with the full squad if you don’t have big injury problems,” he added.
“That means then you need everybody in the squad.
“But in this moment, where everybody’s not used maybe like he wants to be used, we have the problem where there’s always somebody asking ‘but he’s not playing that much, don’t you think it makes sense [to sell]?’.
“That really makes no sense, and we are not really involved in it!
“For us it’s not a big problem, but it is for other clubs, and I don’t understand why this decision is not already reviewed at least and said ‘OK, that was a good idea, but didn’t work out, so let’s change it again’.”
The transfer window closes across the majority of Europe on September 2.
Jürgen Klopp has been pleased with the way his Liverpool squad have utilised their full week to prepare for the Arsenal encounter and challenged them to prove it with a strong showing on Saturday.
The Reds have had lengthy time to prepare for the affair with Unai Emery's side after beating Southampton last weekend following the UEFA Super Cup triumph in Istanbul.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference at Melwood on Friday afternoon, Klopp stated his excitement about the meeting between the only two teams to possess a 100 per cent start to the Premier League campaign.
“We believe in training, so we hope we can see the impact," he said. "If we cannot see it tomorrow then we should see it in the next couple of weeks.
"We work on a lot of tactical stuff. Tactical work is always possible, but you kind of have 20 minutes usually and that’s not really cool.
"So this week we had today, yesterday and the day before yesterday – three days where we could pretty much work on everything which we thought we have to improve on, it's all the things we have to do during the season. That's really good.
"It's about defending, attacking, about everything. That's what you're involved in [during] a week like that.
"We said at the beginning of the week, 'This is really important that we use it and I expect 100 per cent concentration in all these sessions'. That's what the boys showed. But at the end, we still have to play tomorrow against Arsenal.
"They [Arsenal] probably didn't sleep the last week, they did very important things for them as well. Like it should be, it's a big opponent, very strong opponent, it’s Anfield, it’s us, so I’m looking forward to it."
Liverpool have started the 2019-20 season with two wins from two in the top flight, with a piece of silverware sandwiched in between.
The mood currently inside the dressing room is a positive one, but it's laced with a determination to build on last season's success.
Klopp continued: "The spirit in the team could not be better at the moment – they won the Champions League last year together and won 32 games, I don't know exactly. So if they would not be close then that would be really funny.
"They're very close, but what you need is a competitive team spirit as well. You have to kick the butts of your teammates in the right moment. It's a very competitive team spirit what you need to be really difficult to beat and all that stuff.
"It's not about wanting to have a drink every night together, it's about doing the right things and knowing much better than others for who you are doing it for – for your mates, for your best friend.
"I like what Hendo said in pre-season when he got asked about that, he said, 'Yes, we will stay friends forever'. That’s how it is, but in the moment we have to be friends, not best friends, because best friends means that everything what you do is what the other guy likes.
"We have to push each other, we have to be really as a team. I use the word too often probably, but we have to be as a team very angry about everything else around.
"We have to really stay greedy in all these things – and we are, I'm not in doubt about that – but that's what I mean in a different kind of team spirit.
"The best team spirit in the world is not helpful if it's only about being together and stuff like this. We need this kind of team spirit where everybody pushes each other.
"That's what we had, what we have, but we need to have it as well in the future. That's not guaranteed, you have to work on that every day and that's what we try to do."
Jurgen Klopp has stressed the importance of two weeks of uninterrupted training at Melwood, with its impact on Liverpool’s defensive record particularly key.
The Reds conceded just 22 goals in the Premier League in 2018/19, the fewest of any side, but after two games this campaign they have already shipped two.
A perceived change in approach, including a higher line, has prompted concern among supporters, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez not able to produce the rigid performances expected after last term.
But this has come in a busy start which saw the Reds play three times in nine days, including a draining 120 minutes and penalties against Chelsea in Istanbul.
And after the hard-fought 2-1 win at Southampton last Saturday, in which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed in midfield, Liverpool have been able to work more consistently on the training pitch with just one game a week.
“These are the two weeks—this week is nearly gone, but the next week as well—where we have a full week to train,” he told reporters.
“That’s what we have to do, because after that we play every three days, and that’s what we try to do.
“To make the players pretty much fit for the rest of the season, with proper sessions.
“Then we have the two games. These two games are very, very important obviously, but not the only games we have to play.
“So Alex is, I would say, in the best shape I can remember, because it’s long ago before we got injured.
“All looks good, not only physically in a good shape, mentally very good, all that stuff.
“We need him, so it’s all like it should be.”
More often than not, training in the busier periods—with two games a week—largely revolves around fitness and recovery, but Klopp explained how this fortnight differs.
“We believe in training, so we hope we can see the impact. If we cannot see it tomorrow we should see it in the next couple of weeks,” he continued.
“It’s like it is, you work on a lot of tactical stuff. Tactical work is actually always possible but you have, kind of, 20 minutes usually.
“That’s not really cool, so this week we had today, yesterday and the day before yesterday, so three days where we could pretty much work on everything which we thought we have to improve on.
“It’s all the things we have to do during the season, and that’d really good.
“So it’s about defending, it’s about attacking, it’s about everything, and that’s what you involve in a week like that.
“We said at the beginning of the week this is now really important that we use it.
“And I expect 100 percent concentration in all these sessions, and that’s what the boys showed.
“But in the end we still have to play tomorrow against Arsenal, they probably didn’t sleep the last week, they did very important things for them as well.
“So it’s like it should be: it’s a big opponent, a very strong opponent, it’s Anfield, it’s us, so I’m looking forward to it.”
On the subject of his defence, Klopp compared the current situation to that of 12 months ago, adding that “we know we can improve” as he tipped his side to do just that.
“Parts of it I was really happy with. I think we spoke about [the same thing] last year at the beginning of the season,” he reflected.
“We had sensational results, but everybody was talking to me about the kind of performances, ‘it’s not like the year before’ and all that stuff.
“To make the next step, first we have to reach the level of last year, the last level you had, if you want.
“That’s what we are trying to do, but that doesn’t that we start [like that].
“If we were perfect in defending in some games in the late part of last season, it doesn’t mean after the summer break, with all the different things the boys have to do, it’s immediately like this as well.
“We know we can improve that, but it’s not about being perfect in the beginning, it’s about being ready.
“And we were ready, 100 percent. We work on being perfect. We will never reach it, but we still work on it, and that’s what we do.”