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Jurgen Klopp believes Unai Emery will make two key changes for Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool, one includes giving a first start to the Gunners’ record signing Nicolas Pepe. The Ivory Coast international has not yet started a match since his £72 million move from Lille earlier this summer but impressed in his second-half cameo during Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Burnley last Saturday.
Pepe could secure his place in Emery’s starting XI this weekend as Arsenal face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening.
And Klopp expects the winger to feature alongside Granit Xhaka, who has been sidelined with a leg problem and did not play against Burnley last week.
‘Arsenal will probably change two key positions, probably Pepe will start, which will not make them weaker, and Xhaka probably,’ Klopp said in his press conference on Friday. ‘I can’t see many other changes.
‘What has happened a lot to us in the last few months or maybe years, when you’re analysing [the opposition], especially in the early stages, then they play completely different, playing build-up against everybody but not against us.
‘I’m not saying Arsenal do this but it makes life analysing quite tricky, especially in the early stages of the season.
‘I have no idea how [they will play against us], I know what they did in their first two games, I know what they did against us last year.
‘But I don’t know more, so we have to make a couple of decisions that makes us kind of independent of what they do.
‘So if we try, each result which gives us three points I’m happy with.
‘I don’t care about how often we score or whatever, that’s not the moment for thinking about that.
‘I don’t think Arsenal are doing it like that. ‘If you look at their team, how they set up, good football players in all positions and real speed up front, wow, real speed, that makes it tricky to defend all the time.
‘We have to be brave, play our own football, we have to try to keep possession, be direct, so a lot of things to do and consider in that game against a very strong opponent.’