In the second week of the Premier League season, Arsenal hosted Liverpool at Emirates Stadium in one of the more regrettable matches of the season for the Gunners, as the Reds prevailed, 2-0.

In an awkward situation, midfielder Samir Nasri was named a starter despite persistent speculation that he was headed to Manchester City. Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger was without Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Alex Song, Gervinho, and others, and was forced to have Henri Lansbury, Ignasi Miquel, and Ryo Miyaichi as reserves.

To make matters worse, there was constant chatter revolving around Arsenal's lack of summer transfers, and the need for a centre back and midfielder to replace Cesc Fabregas. The lack of an additional centre back came in full focus in the home loss to Liverpool in the 16th minute when Laurent Koscielny had to be substituted.

Defensive midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off with his second yellow card in the 70th minute, and things went downhill from there as Aaron Ramsey put the ball into his own net eight minutes later. Liverpool's Luis Suarez put the icing on the cake in the 90th minute to spoil Arsenal's home opener.

In all, it was a miserable match for a club that was in tremendous turmoil. Things didn't improve for Wenger the following week as Manchester United gave the Gunners an epic thumping at Old Trafford, 8-2.

The mood significantly changed as Arsenal added plenty of reinforcements that included Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker, which helped lead to an eight-game stretch of seven wins and one draw from mid-October to mid-December.

The Gunners go into their Mar. 3 match at Anfield with revenge on their minds, and momentum from a fantastic comeback against local rival Tottenham.

With Robin van Persie coming off a match with the Netherlands, and an upcoming match against AC Milan in Champions League, there is fear that the star striker is being over-worked, particularly after suffering a groin injury this week. Wenger is unsure if van Persie will feature on Saturday.

It's difficult to say because we are before training, said Wenger. If it was after training I could give a better view. It is vital we don't lose players.

Tomas Rosicky is expected to play, but Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out. Thomas Vermaelen is questionable with an ankle injury.

While Arsenal continue to search for silverware after a drought that has lasted since 2005, Liverpool are fresh off a League Cup win, after defeating Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 26.

The upcoming match against Arsenal will end a difficult stretch for the Reds. Kenny Dalglish's squad faced Tottenham and Manchester United in their last two Premier League matches, as well as an FA Cup match and the League Cup title game.

Currently in seventh place, Liverpool are expected to make up a great deal of ground in the Premier League table as their schedule is relatively weak. In the club's following 12 matches, only a home battle on May 5 against Chelsea may appear daunting.

Dalglish would love to have momentum heading into the next dozen matches, but will have to do it without defender Daniel Agger who is expected to be sidelined for three weeks.

Liverpool may also be without Steven Gerrard, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Netherlands.

The Reds will need some support from their home crowd, as the club have had their scoring struggles at home. Liverpool have not scored in their last two matches at Anfield, and have only recorded two or more home goals on three occasions this season.

In fact, Liverpool have scored just 29 goals this season, placing them in a tie for 13th place in the Premier League. The Reds could use an offensive outburst from Andy Carroll, who has just one goal since the Nov. 1, which was against lowly Wolves on Jan. 31.

Carroll's struggles haven't been the only distraction. The club lost a great deal of potential scoring due to Suarez's one-game suspension for a hand gesture at Fulham fans, followed by a much longer suspension for racism directed at Patrice Evra. Earlier this week, goalkeeper Pepe Reina was called out for a racist advertisement.

While the attack has been lackluster, Liverpool's defenders have done an excellent job of holding off their opponents at Anfield. Dalglish's squad have only conceded eight home goals this season, second to only Manchester City, who have given up just six.

A victory on Sunday would likely do wonders for Liverpool's confidence. The Red have not done a Premier League double over Arsenal in a season since 1999-2000.



G: ReinaD: Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, EnriqueM: Gerrard, Spearing, Henderson, DowningF: Suarez, Carroll


G: SzczesnyD: Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, GibbsM: Arteta, Song, Walcott, Rosicky, BenayounF: Van Persie

PREDICTION: It's unclear if key players will be available for either team, with van Persie, Vermaelen, and Gerrard in doubt, but both clubs go into the match with momentum after last weekend's wins. Expect Arteta to have a solid match, as the Spaniard has been in quality form this season, and for Jamie Carragher ready to prove his worth in place of Agger. This should be an entertaining and evenly played match, but likely to be devoid of much scoring with two quality goalkeepers in the net.

PREDICTED SCORE: Liverpool 1 - 1 Arsenal