Monday night football features the defending champions Liverpool against Arsenal in a repeat of the Community Shield.
On that occasion Arsenal prevailed via penalties and while the match is nothing more than a season curtain raiser, it could serve to suggest that the Gunners will be no pushovers.
Liverpool’s heavy metal approach under Jurgen Klopp has yielded some magnificent rewards. The Champions League and then the Premier League and now, as the cliche goes, they must “go again”. The early season tests keep on coming as they look to defeat Arsenal after sending Chelsea to the scrapheap.
Sadio Mane was in blistering form and Klopp not only has the Senegal star to count on but Mo Salah in front of new signing Thiago, who made an instant impact in the win over the Blues.
Both sides are 2 from 2 but home ground advantage – even without fans – may tilt this in favour of the hosts.
Arsenal, though, are a different side under Mikel Arteta. The former midfielder, who learnt his managerial trade under Pep Guardiola, has seemingly been able to shift the mindset of the Gunners back into week in, week out winners.
The goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang help too.
“The team is evolving and you can see the level they are achieving,” Arteta said after Arsenal’s 2-0 victory against Leicester City in the League Cup on Wednesday. “We want to evolve more and play better, so we need to maintain that.
“I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition. We are picking players we believe are the best for each game and as you can see, we keep changing.”
Those words seem to indicate that Mesut Ozil’s spell on the sidelines will continue for some time still.