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Liverpool V Arsenal at Anfield : Match Preview
Published : 02 Sep 2012 09:49:14
Rodgers moves on from deadline-day downer
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers must quickly move on from his transfer deadline day disappointment as Arsenal visit Anfield this weekend. Rodgers had hoped to make late additions on the final day of the summer window but the deadline passed without any new arrivals. A goalscorer had been top priority, particularly after club-record #35million signing Andy Carroll was allowed to join West Ham on loan, but nothing materialised. A deal to bring United States midfielder or forward Clint Dempsey to Merseyside from Fulham had been hugely anticipated but talks broke down and the player signed for Tottenham instead. Speaking before the deadline, Rodgers made clear he wanted another forward. "Absolutely," he said. "That was what I felt coming in from the off. "I felt we needed to have greater threats in the team, not just one or two." The failure to land Dempsey, who scored 23 goals mostly from midfield last season, leaves Luis Suarez and recent signing Fabio Borini as his only senior strikers. Back-up will come from youngsters Raheem Sterling and Adam Morgan. With Charlie Adam and Jay Spearing also leaving the club, Rodgers thought he had cleared the way financially for extra recruits. He said: "Sometimes it is not through choice. If it was carte-blanche and I could do what I wish maybe some of these players wouldn't be out of the door. "But the reality is the finances always dictate how you can build and how you work with your squad. "Unfortunately for where we are at, we have to rebuild. If that means one or two players going out to finance that, that is a decision we are going to have to make. "It is now the job here at the football to reinforce the squad and make sure we bring in players that can help the group." Despite the frustration, Rodgers will hope last week's creditable 2-2 draw against Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City can kickstart his side's season. The Reds crashed to a 3-0 defeat at West Brom in their opener and they now host an Arsenal side who have made an indifferent start to their campaign. The Gunners have drawn both of their games without scoring and their transfer window was noted more for departures than arrivals. But Rodgers said: "It was always going to be a difficult start for us. "Even though Arsenal haven't scored, they are obviously a multi-talented team. It always presents a difficult game. "Performance-wise, if we play similar to last week and how we have played a number of times since I have been here, it sets us up well." One new signing who will be available to Rodgers is Turkey midfielder Nuri Sahin, who arrived on a season-long loan from Real Madrid earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger is looking forward to confounding low expectations of Arsenal's Barclays Premier League campaign once again. Wenger has grown accustomed to seeing the Gunners written off after being left trailing in the wake of their bigger-spending rivals during each transfer window. "You never expect much from us, but we always have a good potential to surprise you," he said. "If I listened to the predictions on the same day last year, it was predicted we would finish between 10th and 15th. We finished third. "There are also a lot of expectations at Liverpool. I believe Liverpool are a good team. "Having watched all the games I could watch until now in the Premier League, it's very difficult to single one team out above everyone else. "Liverpool certainly have a chance to be fighting for the top, but we're competing with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United now as well." Defender Laurent Koscielny returns to the squad for the clash. Koscielny has recovered from a calf injury but goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny faces a fitness test on his rib problem. Midfielder Jack Wilshere (ankle) and defender Bacary Sagna (broken leg) continue their rehabilitation.