Graeme Souness has warned Liverpool that Trent Alexander-Arnold will “need help” to deal with Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli on Sunday.
The Reds travel to the Emirates Stadium at the weekend looking to kick start their Premier League campaign after taking just ten points from a possible 21 so far this season.
They boosted their confidence in midweek with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Rangers in the Champions League to bounce back from a 3-3 draw against Brighton last weekend.
There is no need for a confidence boost at Arsenal, though, with Mikel Arteta’s side leading the Premier League standings after winning seven of their first eight matches.
However, Sunday will probably present both sides with their biggest test of the season and Souness reckons Liverpool could “find out what you’ve got in the dressing room” as they struggle to hit the heights of last term.
Souness wrote in his Daily Mail column: “We will see in the next eight days, with the game at Arsenal on Sunday and Manchester City at Anfield next Sunday, how Liverpool’s players deal with the biggest test they have known as a group.
“Gabriel Martinelli will be a big part of the threat to them at the Emirates. He has great feet and looks to me like he’s going to be a real player. Trent Alexander-Arnold will need help from his centre halves and midfielders.
“Not overthinking things is a part of it. When we had struggled through the autumn of 1981 — including a 3-3 draw against Brighton, before a dreadful 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester City on Boxing Day which left us 12th — we’d started having regular player meetings.
“But Joe Fagan just told us to lighten up. ‘Go out and have a really good dinner and a few beers. I’ve said all I can to help. I can’t help you any more. It’s up to you boys now.’
“It’s at times like this you really find out what you’ve got in the dressing room. You find out about who’s getting changed next to you every day of your working life. We recovered.
“We were top of the league by April 2, with young players Ian Rush and Ronnie Whelan breaking through after a frustrating wait on the sidelines, and won the championship with a game to go. Paisley said it was the title which gave him most satisfaction. I’d agree with that.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was effusive in his praise for Arsenal and their start to the season at his pre-match press conference earlier this week.
Klopp said: “All my respect, wow! Really good job from Mikel. When you need time, nobody wants to give you it. I have to say, a lot of respect. A lot of talent…Martinelli, I was excited about him early, Odegaard, I spoke to him at 15 in Norway with his dad. Saka…ooof.
“And Gabriel Jesus, Mikel could see how good he could be not in a Man City shirt. Thomas Partey, everyone saw how good he was at Atletico Madrid. Lots of quality. A young, exciting team doing really well. Now we go there and we don’t think about [past results].”
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