Arsenal host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and both managers have spoken to the media ahead of the highly anticipated clash. Read everything the two managers had to say below:
Mikel Arteta on updates on Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey: “Yeah, Gabi obviously played and trained with us the whole week. With Thomas, unfortunately, we had a little setback a few days ago, so he’s not going to be available to be in the squad. Whether that’s a matter of days or weeks, we’ll see but he had a little thing.”
Arteta on Partey’s setback: “I’m not a doctor but I’ll try to [explain]! He felt something again in a very similar area and he wasn’t able to train the last few days.”
Arteta on the game against Liverpool: “What we need to do is play the way we played in the last two games against them, and be more efficient in the areas that are going to decide the game. [I’m] very excited, it’s always great to prepare a game against Liverpool; how good they are, they dominate every aspect of the game. We play at home, and what I sense is a real sense of positivity and enthusiasm around the place.”
Arteta: “I showed the players a lot of images [clips] after 54, 57, 63 minutes [of the FA Cup tie against Liverpool] … chances … and the reaction of all the players was incredible to each other.
“Against Fulham [in the 2-1 league defeat on 31 December] I did not like it. At 1-1, Bukayo missed a huge chance and I did not like that reaction.
“The scoreline reflects what the team produces. And we have to coach that, we have to evolve the play, we have to create more situations. “That has to fall on us [the coaching staff] – that’s for sure.”
Arteta on if a win against Liverpool would provide confidence and momentum: “Yes, and we have done it. This season, we have beaten big teams already and it’s another opportunity to beat Liverpool now and be in a much better place. We talk about momentum; we’ve won the last two games and want to win the third one, especially at home with our people.
“It’s going to be an incredible atmosphere, and we’re going to need that, so I encourage everybody to do that, to play every single ball with us, and if we do that, we’re going to have a big chance to win the game.”
Arteta on if he will miss Klopp: “Absolutely, I think he’s going to be a big loss. As I’ve said before, he’s been an inspiration, he’s someone that has added a new dimension to the Premier League, [he’s instilled] a really attractive and inspiring way of playing, [how he’s] set up teams, and building a team and transforming a club as well. He will be missed but, for now, he’s here.”
Arteta on if it’s a must-not-lose match: “No. It’s a game that we want to win and we have to earn the right to win it. In order to do that we’re going to have to do so many good things because there’s a reason why they are there but as well there’s a reason why we are where we are.”
Arteta on looking at beating Man City as an example of how we can win big games: “Yes or Manchester United or Brighton or when we played here last season against Liverpool.
“We’ve done it many times and tomorrow is a different game and the team looks really ready and prepared, it’s really looking forward to the game.
“We know that the stadium is going to be fully with us as well and we want those days. We want those afternoons with our supporters where we have challenging things and the next game is a big one.”
Jurgen Klopp on the Premier League title race: “I think what we learned over the years is if you want to be around [Man] City then you better win all your football games because they do. That’s all. This is the league, this is the time where City is dominating, that’s how it is.
“They play incredible stuff and would probably consider themselves not playing their very best season but are where they are.
“We play a very good season and are in the moment two points ahead of City, and they play kind of a season and are two points behind us, which is really interesting. So, that’s the situation we are in.
“We could discuss that or we don’t do it and just take it like it is and go from here and try to play the best season we can play. And when we face them, we want to beat them. In the other games, we don’t have anything to do with them. That’s the thing.”
Klopp added: “Arsenal, they beat us, they are definitely there. If they don’t beat us, then ask them or other people, I don’t know what that means. There are so many games to come & we always judge then the moment and then it’s like, by the way, you play there, there, there.”
“You can lose all these games, unfortunately, that’s how it is. You can win them as well, that’s cool, but you could lose them as well and then you lose key players in absolutely the wrong moments. We all have to get through this.”
“You ask these questions and you try to get answers, the only problem is that we cannot give the answers – and not only me, we cannot give the answers because we don’t know.”
Klopp on what to learn from the previous meetings against Arsenal: “Will we improve? We will see. What we learn is that we have to be much more dominant in possession. There it was a typical away game.
“Yes, we had a few problems here and there, that’s true, and it’s a cup game, it’s all about the result, stuff like this.
“But I think everybody who saw the game knows that Arsenal could have scored before we scored and that could have given the game a completely different direction obviously.
“But even these kind of games you can win, but I would prefer us to have more moments where we are in charge – as difficult as it is because they are really good.
“You saw it in the home game when we played, first half they were super-physical in a good way, not kicking or whatever, really strong on the ball and they won these one-v-one situations, they won press balls, 50-50 situations, they won all that.
“But they could not cope with us for 90 minutes and probably in the second half we should have won that game, but that’s quite normal in football and quite common.
“I try to give the boys the right information [so] that we can just be better and being better means being more in the game, being more in the game means you have a bigger chance to win it.”
Klopp on Darwin Nunez fitness: “I don’t know if Darwin Nunez is available or not. Someone stood on his foot after about 20 minutes [against Chelsea], it was very painful. He only took the boot off after the game, he didn’t want to see it before, he knew there was something. He left the stadium in a boot, not a football boot. Nothing broken, X-ray clear but it’s swollen and we’ll have to see if he can get his foot in a boot.”