Mikel Arteta ominously believes that Liverpool are ‘getting better and better’, as the Arsenal boss looks to ‘exploit’ any potential weakness within the Premier League champions.
Liverpool welcome Mikel Arteta’s side to Anfield on Monday evening with both sides having started the 2020/21 campaign with back-to-back wins.
Jurgen Klopp’s side claimed their 19th league title at an absolute canter last season, collecting 99 points and winning the title with a record seven games to spare.
After a slow start to this summer’s transfer window, Liverpool have made impressive moves in the market over the last week, bringing in midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich while adding Diogo Jota to their ranks from Wolves to provide a backup to the likes of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino.
Speaking ahead of Monday night’s clash at Anfield, Arsenal boss Arteta believes that the champions have even ‘less weaknesses’ than last season, though he still thinks there are some areas his side can ‘exploit’.
“I think they are getting better and better and they have less weaknesses, they are a fantastic side,” Arteta told the media at his pre-match press conference.
Arsenal's start to 2020-21:
1-1 vs Liverpool (5-4 on pens) ✅
3-0 vs Fulham ✅
2-1 vs West Ham ✅
2-0 vs Leicester ✅
The Mikel Arteta revolution continues 👏
Next up: Liverpool (a) pic.twitter.com/YEoaP1CQkC
— Goal (@goal) September 23, 2020
“The issue with the weaknesses of opponents is how many you are able to exploit and how many opportunities you get to do that. With all the incredible things that they have, you know that they are going to try and still be able to do them.
“So I want to focus on what we can do and what we have to do and control our own aspects.”
Arteta has actually bested Jurgen Klopp on both of their previous meetings, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the Premier League back in July before lifting the Community Shield last month, beating the league winners on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Despite his record against the German, Arteta insists his side will need to be at their absolute best to stand any chance against a side who he expects to dominate on Monday evening.
“They are all very different games, the one we played at the Emirates and the one we played in the final were very different, and I think it will be different again [on Monday],” Arteta added.
“We know the standards that they have set in this league, how consistent they have been and that is because they dominate almost every aspect of the game.
“So we need to be at our best, we need to compete really well against this team and hopefully the boys are able to do that on Monday.”
The game on Monday night is the first of a double-header between the two sides, Liverpool’s 7-2 win over Lincoln on Thursday night setting up a midweek fixture in the Carabao Cup, a fixture which is a repeat of last years pulsating fourth-round tie which saw Liverpool progress on penalties after the game finished 5-5.