Another summer has gone by with Arsene Wenger refusing to pay the going amount for players who might strengthen the squad, and right or wrong that might be, Arsenal go into their Premier League season opener against Liverpool, short on numbers, particularly at the back.
As a result, Arsenal could start this game against one of their perceived title contenders with two raw centre-backs or one youngster and a left-back. Calum Chambers looks certain to start the game against Liverpool, but it remains to be seen who partners the 21-year-old â€“ Rob Holding the new summer signing from Bolton Wanderers or Nacho Monreal, Arsenal's first-choice fullback.
The Gunners are also been rumoured to be interested in a forward, and while this game will come too soon for Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil, Wenger does have a few more options to play around with in that department.
Options, solid ones at that, are what Jurgen Klopp wanted coming into the new season, and that has been seen in the seven signings that Liverpool have already made this season. A few of them could start this match against Arsenal, but what will be fascinating to see is just how far this Liverpool team have come, in terms of style and the ability to pick up consistent results.
A result against Arsenal at their own patch will be a great start, and Klopp will be aware of the positive snowball effect a win over a possible title rival can give the team. Wenger will be thinking along the same lines, of course, and just to knock out that negative feeling that has been pervading the fans of late, owing to the lack of transfer activity, the manager will be keen to see his Arsenal team pick up all three points, preferably with some panache.
"I'm very happy with the way we have prepared," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "I felt the quality of preparation was there, the focus was there, the team spirit is there and the way we want to play football is shared by everybody.
"They benefit from the fact that we finished well last season so the confidence is high. Some players also had a good experience at the Euros so their confidence level is quite high. It was a very positive [preseason] overall, but now we want to transform all that work into points and that is a reality on Sunday that we have to catch straight away.
"We are full of hope, full of ambition and we are very focused to start well. We have a very intense game straight away with Liverpool, these games are always very unpredictable. We try to prepare well to be ready."
Team news: Arsenal: Three centre-backs -- Per Mertesacker, the new club captain, Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny â€“ are out through injuries and a lack of mach fitness. Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson are long-term injury victims, while Jack Wilshere will not feature owing to a slight knee problem. Ozil and Giroud, like Koscielny, will also be not risked, considering they only recently returned to training after their Euro 2016 exertions. Summer signing Granit Xhaka is expected to start against Liverpool.
Liverpool: James Milner and Daniel Sturridge are unlikely to feature, but Marko Grujic and Dejan Lovren are expected to feature. Sadio Mane, Joel Matip, if fit enough, Ragnar Klavan and Giorginio Wijnaldum could all make their Liverpool Premier League debuts.
Where to Watch Live
Arsenal vs Liverpool is scheduled for an 8.30 p.m. IST (4 p.m. local time, 11 a.m. ET) start. TV and live streaming information for the EPL match is below.
India: TV: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports Select HD1. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD1. Live Sreaming: Watch Sky Sports.
China: TV: LeTV, PPTV and QQ Sports.
Singapore: TV: 102mio.
Malaysia: TV: Astro SuperSport.
Australia: TV: Optus Sport. Live Streaming: Optus Online.
USA: TV: NBCSN. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live.
Middle East and Thailand: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
South Africa: TV: SuperSport3. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live.