Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish believes Arsenal will be as good as ever despite losing Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona

The Scot refuses to underestimate the Gunners before Saturday’s match and insists there were plenty of positives to take out of last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has warned his players that Arsenal will prove as strong a test as ever, despite losing key players in the transfer window.

Cesc Fabregas and Gael Clichy have gone to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively, with Samir Nasri looking like he will be the next to move on, despite manager Arsene Wenger saying he might play him on Saturday.

But that is irrelevant to Dalglish, who himself has sanctioned £100 million worth of spending since taking over as manager in January.

As he tries to mastermind Liverpool’s first win away to Arsenal since 2000, the Scot said beating the Gunners will be as formidable a task as always.

"Maybe we're due for a win," he told reporters.

"But it is not going to make it any easier for us because they have lost Fabregas, Nasri is unlikely to be playing and they have a couple of suspensions.

"It will still be a difficult game for us. Arsenal have been most football fans' second team because they play great football and are entertaining to watch.

"Unfortunately they have not won anything for six years and that is the monkey they would love to have off their back.

"But they are still a team I have the greatest respect for and so we go in there and hopefully we can make it as difficult for them as they will for us.

"I don't know how they are going to react, it is up to us to know how we are gong to react.

"We can control what we do and we can compete against them - that is all we can do."

Liverpool come into the match against Arsenal on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland, where they took the lead through Luis Suarez only to see it cancelled out by a sweet volley from Sebastian Larsson.

The Reds were impressive in the first half but their performance dropped after the interval, prompting suggestions that the side were not fit enough for the full 90 minutes.

However, Dalglish has dismissed that notion and said despite not going on to win the match, he had been able to take many positives from the team’s overall performance.

"The boys that played with the emotions and the magnitude of the task in front of them, for different reasons, it was understandable that the second half was maybe not as good as the first," he added.

"But we have no problem at all in terms of their fitness.

"We were disappointed with the performance because we can play better than that but we have a lot more positives to take out of it when we look back now than we thought we did at the time."