Mikel Arteta reinforces message to Arsenal stars ahead of Liverpool return

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hopes his squad will head back to Anfield on Thursday believing they can again give Liverpool plenty to think about.

The Gunners suffered a 3-1 Premier League defeat by the Reds on Monday night, their first loss of the new campaign.

Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead midway through the first half before Liverpool hit back with quick goals from Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson, new signing Diogo Jota adding a late third.

Both managers will freshen up their team for the Carabao Cup tie.

Arteta believes Monday night’s spirited performance, albeit not the final result, will have lifted the whole group.

“I am happy that we competed throughout the game and I think there are a lot of things that we can do better – and we will do better – and that’s going to help us so much in the process,” Arteta told Arsenal.com.



Arteta takes his side to Anfield again

“We tried and they believed. That’s what I asked of them before the game, to believe.

“To play here with character and to play our way and now we just accept that they were better and that they are better at the moment and that we have to improve.

“This is the level that we have to reach. We will come back on Thursday and try to win again.”

Arteta acknowledged Monday night’s Premier League fixture had been “physically a really demanding match”, so is again set to utilise his squad for the cup tie.

Defenders Cedric Soares and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have returned to full training following their respective calf problems, so could feature.

Iceland goalkeeper Alex Runarsson may be in line for his debut, while Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe are all expected to feature.

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