If Liverpool leave the Emirates Stadium with three points on Saturday, then Jordan Henderson believes they will have to be considered title candidates.
The Reds, who have not been crowned champions of England since 1990, have been in splendid form this term, with only Arsenal amassing more than their 20-point haul from nine matches. But if Brendan Rodgers’ side can inflict defeat on the Gunners in the capital this weekend, it will be they who head the early season table.
Despite their impressive performances of late, you can still get healthy odds on the Anfield men finally ending their long wait for title number 19 at the end of the campaign. But a win at the Emirates, claims the former Sunderland youngster Henderson, would mean they would have to be considered genuine title contenders.
“Confidence is very high at the minute,” he told the club’s official website. “We’ve started the season very well, but there’s still room for improvement and we’re still going to push and try and become better as a team. So hopefully we can keep doing what we’ve been doing and we can go to the Emirates and get a good result.
“They’re all tough games in the Premier League and Arsenal have been flying of late. But so have we, so I think it will be a good game to watch and hopefully we can get a good result. It would send out a message to the rest of the teams that we’re here and we mean business. But I think the main focus is going there and playing like we have been.”
One player who is sure to be in the spotlight at the Emirates is Luis Suarez, who was a transfer target for Arsenal throughout the summer. Arsene Wenger failed with two offers for the controversial Uruguayan forward, who was thought to be interested in making the move. Since he returned from suspension to regain his place in the Liverpool side, the 26-year-old has scored six goals in just four Premier League matches.
Suarez has forged a superb partnership with Daniel Sturridge, who currently tops the goalscoring charts with eight goals from nine matches. And the England international has nothing but praise for the former Ajax forward, with whom he claims to have built up a telepathic understanding with since they linked up together on Merseyside.
“It’s a natural partnership between us, almost telepathic,” said Sturridge. “The relationship we have means we know when to pass to each other and when we’re going to make runs. It’s just a totally natural thing. We can do more instinctive things because we’re on the same wavelength. I think it’s only going to improve the more we play together.”