Arsenal must ‘suffer’ to end Anfield hoodoo against Liverpool but Mikel Arteta full of belief

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Mikel Arteta will hope to lead Arsenal to a first Premier League win at Anfield for nine years  (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta will hope to lead Arsenal to a first Premier League win at Anfield for nine years (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has told his Arsenal side they must get ready to “suffer” if they want to claim their first Premier League win at Anfield since 2012.

The Gunners have a miserable record at Liverpool, failing to win there in the top-flight for nine years and suffering some heavy losses.

Arsenal have conceded 65 goals at Anfield since the Premier League was formed in 1992, with their next highest tally being 46 at Old Trafford.

Arteta, however, believes his Arsenal side can win on Saturday evening and leapfrog Liverpool into the top four.

“First of all you have to believe that you can go there and beat them. If somebody is not with that mindset, they should not put the shirt on and go to Anfield tomorrow,” said the Spaniard.

“Then, as I said, you have to raise individually your game to your best - emotionally, physically, technically, tactically.

“You have to be able to suffer in the right moments. Then, as a team, you have to have very clear ideas of what you have to do on that pitch to beat that side.

“It is always a test. It’s a fascinating stadium to play football, you have to be at your best. You have to raise the level to your maximum standards because if you don’t, you will get exposed.

“To go to Anfield is always a test but, again, if you are able to do that as well there are not many grounds as good as that to feel that you are a proper footballer.”

Asked directly if he believes Arsenal can win on Saturday, Arteta said: “Yes, for the reasons that I said and what I see, and because if not, there is no point travelling.

“You always have to find the reasons to believe that your team can go there and beat them.”

Other than Granit Xhaka (knee) and Sead Kolasinac (ankle), Arsenal should have a fully fit squad for the trip to Anfield.

An official team news update from the club on Thursday night confirmed as much, although Arteta was more cautious when speaking on Friday morning, particularly as Thomas Partey has been nursing a groin issue.

“He could not play for the national team (Ghana),” said Arteta. “He really tried to do that because obviously they had a massive game and he really pushed for that one.

“But he wasn’t close enough to do that. And again, it is something that we have to assess today because until today he hasn’t done enough.”

Doubts have also been raised about captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he is expected to start and lead the line at Anfield.

Arsenal head into the game looking to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 matches and a win against Liverpool would be a real statement of intent.

Arteta appears to have turned a corner since losing the opening three games of the season, but beating Liverpool, on their patch, would silence any remaining doubters.

Arsenal’s defence has seen the greatest improvement, with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale’s fine form earning him an England debut this week.

Liverpool, however, boast a formidable attack, with Mohamed Salah in the form of his life, and Arsenal’s new-found defensive solidity will be sorely tested.

“It (Anfield) is one of the toughest places to go in the League, that’s for sure. For the environment, for the energy that stadium creates, for the quality of the opponent, for the quality of the coach that they have, for many reasons,” said Arteta.

“That’s why they have been where they have been for the last few years, but we know that and we have to focus on what we can and what we have to do.

“As a footballer, you really feel like you are in a place where you have to give your best.”

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