Arsene Wenger has been slow to add replacements for key players. Reuters

The last time Arsenal and Liverpool met at Emirates Stadium, the match ended in rather controversial fashion.

Robin van Persie put Arsenal ahead on a penalty kick in the final moments of the match. However, after a questionable foul on Emmanuel Eboue on Lucas, Dirk Kuyt evened things up with a penalty kick of his own in what turned out to be the last play of the match. The 1-1 result basically extinguished Arsenal's chances of catching leader Manchester United atop the table.

After the match, Arsene Wenger and Kenny Dalglish didn't shake hands, and Dalglish ended the exchange by directing profanity at the Arsenal boss.

On Saturday, the two clubs meet again in Arsenal's home opener. The Reds will face a depleted Gunner squad that has quickly felt the effects of a summer transfer period where key departures haven't been replaced. Wenger will be playing with a makeshift lineup due to transfers, injuries, and suspensions.

Nearly four months ago, Liverpool met an Arsenal club that featured Eboue, Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas, and Samir Nasri, along with substitutes Alex Song and Nicklas Bendtner. None of those players will be in action on Saturday unless Wenger decides to play Bendtner, who has been subjected to serious transfer discussions but remains with the club.

Nasri certainly won't be in the lineup, as his transfer to Manchester City might be just hours away from completion. Fabregas, meanwhile, helped Barcelona to a victory over Real Madrid on Wednesday. Left back Clichy and right back Eboue have also left Emirates.

Of those still on the squad, Wilshere and Diaby are out with ankle injuries, Tomas Rosicky and Armand Traore are sidelined with groin injuries, and Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou are out with hamstring injuries. Song and forward Gervinho are serving suspensions for their separate roles in violent conduct with Newcastle's Joey Barton last week.

It's the lack of replacements that as been distressing for Gunner fans. The much-discussed talent to replace the likes of Fabregas and the hole at centre back, among other areas, are still nowhere to be found. Indeed, Wenger could use Phil Jagielka right about now.

Wenger might feel like England Under-20s coach Brian Eastick with the starting eleven he trots out against Liverpool. Teenagers Emmanuel Frimpong, Carl Jenkinson, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all may see significant playing time on Saturday. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and midfielder Aaron Ramsey might feel like elder statesmen on the pitch though neither are even 22 years old.

As for Liverpool, Dalglish has things looks very much in order. The Liverpool boss added Jose Enrique, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, and Jordan Henderson to a club that saw big gains with the additions of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in the second half of last season.

There is a feeling of optimism around Anfield as the Reds are coming off a successful transfer period.

Liverpool have one major name who will remain inactive on Saturday. Star midfielder Steven Gerrard has yet to play since March due to a groin surgery and his return was pushed back after he suffered an infection related to the operation. There is no firm timetable for his return, but he could be back in mid-September.

Liverpool are coming off a 1-1 result with Sunderland at Anfield. In the match, Suarez missed a penalty kick, so it would be understandable for the Reds to feel disappointed in missing out on a win, and look to make up for it against Arsenal.

Though a draw would be an acceptable result in most circumstances for Liverpool when playing at Emirates, Dalglish's squad has a solid chance to leave with a victory considering the setbacks Arsenal have suffered.