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Unai Emery names the one Liverpool player Arsenal must stop and it’s not Firmino, Mane or Salah

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has pinpointed the player that makes Liverpool tick and his analysis may come as a surprise to some fans.

He didn’t pick out Mohamed Salah, last year’s Premier League Golden Boot winner, or the hard-working forward Roberto Firmino whose pressing and support runs allow the Egyptian the freedom to play his game.

Neither Sadio Mane or James Milner got the nod for their important roles in Jurgen Klopp’s side, out wide and in midfield, respectively.

Emery has spoken about the importance of using goalkeepers in his own team’s build play all season and has recently confirmed Bernd Leno as his number one between the sticks given his comfort at playing with the ball at his feet.

Petr Cech has run into some difficulties while trying to play the way that his new boss at the Emirates demands.

However, the Spaniard isn’t only sure of the need to bring his own ‘keepers into play. According to the Spaniard, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is vital to how Klopp sets his team up this season.

“We need to stop them doing their jobs in the 90 minutes,” said the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain manager in his pre-match press conference at London Colney.

“They have individual players and also are a collective. They are developing moves with the goalkeeper because they build up through Alisson, the centre-backs and the midfield players.

Alisson (Image: Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

“They can progress up the pitch with a lot of quality starting with Alisson.”

Last season Manchester City won the Premier League title with a record-breaking haul of points and goals scored, with their own ball-playing goalkeeper Ederson praised for adding a new dimension to Pep Guardiola’s side.

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He marked himself for his shot-stopping ability, distribution over all distances and readiness to charge out and intercept dangers when required.

Alisson is a new signing at Anfield. He joined the Reds from Roma in the summer, a year on from Ederson’s move from Benfica to City in 2017.

Emery also welcomed a new goalkeeper to the ranks at Arsenal before the start of the season with the signing of Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.

The Spaniard wants to see more from his man between the sticks as the Gunners seek to use every single one of their 11 players on the pitch to pull opponents apart through their passing and positioning.

He called on his players to believe in their own ideas and style of play rather than compromising for the visit of Liverpool.

“We need a big match in the individual duels against them and also tactically,” he said. “We need to be together and play with our identity and style that we need to impose on them.

“It’s difficult for 90 minutes but in moments we need to impose our ideas in a duel of 90 minutes.

“We are looking forward to playing against a team like Liverpool. We are excited because our supporters are going to help us in our home.

“I think it’s a very difficult game against a very difficult team but for us it’s about success through our quality, our performance and also our respect.

“Each match is a very important match. The most important is tomorrow. It’s a very big test because it’s against Liverpool. They are a very good team, an intense team, and they require a lot of work for us to battle them but I believe in our team and our players.

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“We are also going to play our way.”

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