Liverpool could be 'easy' to defend against after physical Burnley - Sokratis

Sokratis Arsenal 2019-20
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The Gunners travel to Anfield on Saturday to take on Jurgen Klopp's Premier League leaders

Arsenal head to Liverpool this weekend with bad memories from recent trips to the red half of Merseyside.

Unai Emery’s team fell to a crushing 5-1 defeat at Anfield last season, their heaviest loss since the Spaniard arrived at the Emirates.

And that followed on from 3-1 and 4-0 defeats at Liverpool during Arsene Wenger’s last two campaigns in north London.

The Gunners go into the game in confident mood, however, having won their opening two matches of a Premier League season for the first time in 10 years.

Saturday’s 2-1 success against Burnley saw Sokratis line up alongside new signing David Luiz for the first time, and the pair were given a difficult afternoon by a physical Clarets frontline of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.

And as he prepares to return to a ground where he conceded five last season, Sokratis believes that he and his new defensive partner could actually be in for an easier challenge than the one they faced against Sean Dyche’s side at the Emirates.

"For a defender it is more difficult [to play teams like Burnley] because you have to fight a lot," he said.

“It [Liverpool} is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don’t have to fight a lot - but they also play football.

“If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard.”

Roberto Firmino Xherdan Shaqiri Liverpool Arsenal

Memories of what happened an Anfield last season are still fresh in the mind of Arsenal’s Greek centre-back.

An early Ainsley Maitland-Niles goal had actually given Arsenal the lead, but a brace from Roberto Firmino and one apiece from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane sent Liverpool into the break 4-1 in front.

Firmino completed his hat-trick in the second half to seal a comprehensive victory, but it is one that Sokratis still believes flattered the home side.

“It was not the game to take five goals, [there was] the penalty kicks and we made mistakes,” he said.

“I think this year will be different, but we have to improve from the work we do with the coach and his staff.

“We have to be prepare for this game. It will be difficult of course.”

He added: “[Last season] was not only this game we learned from. We learned from Chelsea and Manchester City.

Sokratis Shkodran Mustafi Arsenal 2018-19

“We know already to be at this level you have to improve and to have more confidence and character when you go to play there [at Anfield].

“We have to have confidence and be together for 90 minutes.”

Saturday’s game will be between the only sides to have a 100 per cent record in the Premier League having played their opening two games of the season.

Liverpool only sit above Arsenal on goal difference, but despite Emery’s side’s winning start to the campaign there will be few who will give them any chance of victory at Anfield.

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That does not bother Sokratis, however, who is adamant Arsenal shouldn't get distracted by what others are saying.

“We have to go and play our game,” he said. ”We know that it is difficult and we respect Liverpool a lot.

“But I think the best [way] is to go and play our style of game. We will see what happens.”