It’s been a long time coming, but now we can say with some certainty that Arsenal and Liverpool are two teams of similar qualities and that they have been for at least 50 years.
The Premier League is so similar to the World Cup, as they have had the same three clubs for more than half of the past 50 years, and so are the two major European clubs.
There are similarities in their style of play, but Arsenal are better at keeping possession and the way they attack and defend, while Liverpool are more reactive.
Both teams have had successful managers, both have won championships and both have managed to make the top four in the Premier League.
Arsenal are known for their ability to win games, with Arsene Wenger leading them to five consecutive titles, and their success in that regard has been reflected in their position in the title race.
But for the past two seasons, Liverpool have been in a position to challenge for the top spot, with a manager with the pedigree to make that happen, and who can help both teams succeed.
Liverpool have a history of winning titles and that history will be crucial when Liverpool and Arsenal face each other in the league on Sunday, with the tie at the heart of the title battle.
The last time Arsenal and the Reds played at Anfield was in 2005, when they played their first ever Premier League game, with Liverpool winning 3-0.
That win was followed by a 6-1 triumph at Anfield in 2006, which was followed in 2009 by a 3-1 win at Anfield for the Reds.
Liverpool’s history with Liverpool is well-documented, with their previous encounter being the 2-1 defeat at Anfield on August 25, 1994, when the Reds were in their third season in the English top flight.
However, it was the start of a remarkable run that saw them reach the Champions League final in 1995, where they were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in the final.
They were also champions of England in 1998 and 2000 and also won the FA Cup in 2000.
The Anfield clash will be a rematch of the 2014 title win.
Since then, Liverpool’s title success has been linked to the arrival of Luis Suarez, the Brazilian attacking midfielder who has become a major influence in their title challenge.
Liverpool are also a Champions League winners, having won four straight and four of their last five league games, but the Reds have struggled to find form in the last five matches.
Liverpool’s defence has been in poor form this season, with Daniel Sturridge struggling to make an impact at Anfield, while Steven Gerrard has been one of the main reasons why Liverpool have struggled.
Liverpool are without their captain Daniel Sturke for the first game of the season, but they are hopeful he can return in time for Sunday’s encounter.
Although Liverpool have played five consecutive games without Suarez, he has been at his best this season and it will be his return that will be the most important factor.
Suarez is a great player, but he has had a difficult season, not least because of a knee injury that limited him to just 15 appearances last term.
The Reds are confident that their defence can step up and prevent Suarez from finding the net, and it’s not just Sturridge who can provide a huge boost.
It’s the other two central defenders who can play the role of the spearhead.
The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez have all been outstanding this season for Liverpool.
Coutinho and Lallanana have combined for 21 goals in their last 18 league games.
Coutinho is a real class act, while Lallans performances have been outstanding.
He has made seven tackles, won two clearances and scored two goals.
Gomez is also a class act with five goals and three assists this season.
The pair of Coutinho and Gomez is one of Liverpool’s strengths, and they can create opportunities in defence as well as in attack.
Both Coutinho’s speed and skill will provide them with opportunities, while the Reds also have the ability to play in a 4-4-2 system that is very similar to Liverpool’s.
Liverpool have had a fairly good start to the season and should be able to hold onto the title this weekend.
However, they need to prove that they are the better side in their opening two matches.
The draw is being played on Sunday at the Britannia Stadium and it is expected to be a very difficult match.
Liverpool and Arsenal have both played the last two matches in the Champions’ League, with both sides having won at Anfield last season.
Liverpool will look to get back on track against Arsenal, while Arsenal look to keep their title hopes alive.