After their narrow win against Southampton and a 2-2 draw against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup which they won on penalties, European Champions Liverpool have begun the season in a less assured way than expected.

For the first time since May, they’ve played three games without a clean sheet.

They’ve also conceded in two games more than half the total number of shots they did last season.

These stats do not make good reading for the Reds who have lofty ambitions this year.

Against Southampton, they played a high line which didn’t look comfortable throughout. The defence looked lethargic probably due to the Wednesday-Saturday schedule they had.

Their penalty shootout victory against Chelsea took a lot out of Liverpool and their struggles were obvious against Southampton even though they won. I guess the victory shows the character of Champions they have.

Liverpool’s key players have also had busy summers which affected their pre-season preparations and fitness as well.

The likes of Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah played at the Africa Cup Of Nations, Roberto Firmino and Alisson who is currently injured played at the Copa America, Jordan Henderson, Virgil Van Dijk and Georginho Wijnaldum also played at the UEFA Nations League.

In a nutshell, Klopp’s men look out of steam and it makes you question their refusal to dip into the transfer window during the summer like their rivals did.

That being said, the lack of freshness among the squad is evident and ahead of a huge fixture against an Arsenal side that is flying at the moment, they may yet put salt in Liverpool’s wounds come this weekend.

At the same time, the Reds would see the fixture as an opportunity to regain their form as they always cherish a big game against Arsenal.

Remember they beat the Gunners soundly last season and another victory like that would indicate that all is well with the Merseyside club.

Regardless of the manner of their wins, a victory against Arsenal at the weekend will see Liverpool top the pile with at least two points.

While they’ve indeed had a shaky start to their season, a quality of potential Champions is the ability to dig out points even when playing below par – and so far the Reds have done that just perfectly.