Granit Xhaka names three things Arsenal must do to beat Liverpool
Granit Xhaka has urged his team-mates to take points off of quadruple-chasers Liverpool on Wednesday if they are to see progress as a club in the coming years – and has told them three things they must do to win.
The Gunners have fared extremely poorly against the Reds in recent years, winning just one game in their last 18 against the Merseyside outfit inside 90 minutes.
That could end on Wednesday with a victory at the Emirates, although they will have to show consistency from there onwards if they are to finish in the top four in order to progress.
But Xhaka is a firm believer that there will be ample opportunities for his side to win in the crunch clash on Wednesday if they can stick to three key principles – stay focused, be compact defensively and be clinical in front of goal.
“Of course we are seeing the other results, but we are winning – that’s now five in a row – and we now have a big game on Wednesday against Liverpool,” Xhaka said.
“We knew this would be a key week for us before the international break. And let’s see on Wednesday, maybe we have to perform better than against Leicester.
“We know the quality they have. They are one of the best teams in the Premier League, maybe in Europe.
“In the end, I believe the small details will be the difference. We have to be focused over the 90 minutes, we have to finish the chances to score as quickly as possible, but as well we have to be very compact.”
Arsenal’s prospects of victory will be largely reliant on Alexandre Lacazette’s ability to finish his chances against one of the league’s better defences.
The Frenchman scored his first goal since Boxing Day in the 2-0 win over Leicester on Sunday.
Arsenal’s biggest concern is their goals given that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was moved on to Barcelona in the summer and Eddie Nketiah is failing to find the target.
But Xhaka believes that Lacazette offers much more than goals and is pivotal to how the Gunners play.
“Sometimes people only notice if players score, but they don’t see how important he Lacazette is for us – not only on the pitch but as well off the pitch,” he continued.
“He is an amazing player and he understands the game so good with the quality he has. I hope now after this four, five, six weeks they (people) understand how important he is for us.”
Arsenal sit one point above United, albeit with three games in hand.