Roberto Firmino has been a rare bright spark in a poor season at Liverpool and is expected to be the main man again against Arsenal.
The Brazilian scored more goals against the Gunners than any other Premier League club during his seven-year spell at Anfield.
Firmino, who turned 31 on Sunday, has been tipped for another campaign on the sidelines of Liverpool’s attack following the arrival of Darwin Nunez.
But the latter suffered an early setback after being shown a red card in Liverpool’s second game of the season and has struggled to find his feet ever since.
Diogo Jota was injured at the time which opened the door for Firmino to take his place and the striker hasn’t looked back.
He is Liverpool’s top scorer this season against Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah, netting twice in the 3-3 draw with Brighton last time out.
His five goals in the club’s first six Premier League games this season are as many as he scored in 20 appearances last term.
The Reds take on league leaders Arsenal this Sunday and it will be a game many players will be wary of given the Gunners’ start to the season.
Yet Firmino will be the one to relish the encounter, having netted nine Premier League goals against Arsenal.
Liverpool played three times against Arsenal in 2017 and in each game Firmino scored and assisted in two wins and one draw for his side.
The following year, in December 2018, he scored his first ever Premier League hat-trick in a 5-1 win over the Gunners.
Firmino then suffered a mini-drought the next four times he faced Arsenal in the top flight, but he scored in the last encounter – a 2-0 win at the Emirates in March.
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Jota opened the scoring in that game which also added to his own goalscoring record against Mikel Arteta’s side.
The Portuguese has scored six goals in eight Premier League appearances against Arsenal, including five in four since joining Liverpool.
In fact, Jota averages a goal every 67 minutes against the Gunners.
It is the best goal ratio of any player in Premier League history against Arsenal who has played at least 200 minutes against them.
Arsenal have won just one of their last 14 Premier League games against Liverpool – with form and shooting from Firmino and Jota in attack that don’t seem to be changing anytime soon…
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