Adrian Clarke looks at tactical battles set to take place in Matchweek 11.
The in-form centre-back has shown a marked improvement under head coach Unai Emery.
Playing with renewed assurance and establishing himself as a regular starter, Holding has been Arsenal’s most reliable defender in the run-up to this heavyweight match.
An Emery-type defender
The Englishman is the most comfortable of Arsenal’s central defenders on the ball.
He is happy to play out from the back, a tactic that forms a key part of Emery’s philosophy, and excels at calmly distributing the ball under pressure.
And the 23-year-old’s success rate with long passes is better than any other Arsenal defender.
Interestingly, Holding has lost possession the fewest times in all of his four Premier League starts, compared with team-mates who also played 90 minutes.
Rob Holding in 2018/19
|Pass accuracy in own half||92.3%|
|Long pass success||59.3%|
Those attributes will be handy against a Liverpool side who enjoy this fixture.
Klopp’s high-octane pressing always seems to unsettle Arsenal’s passing game, forcing turnovers and mistakes in dangerous areas.
Provided he retains his composure of late, Holding won’t be fazed this time.
There are fitness doubts in both of Arsenal's full-back positions ahead of kick-off, so it is essential that Holding and his centre-back partner rise to the occasion.
Providing cover on the inside will form a key part of their brief from Emery, and with so much sharp movement likely to come from Klopp’s attack their concentration and positioning will be tested to the full.
Holding has made fewer mistakes than the German.
How Arsenal centre-backs compare
|Aerial duels won||68.4%||70.7%||52.6%|
It won’t be easy but if he can help to keep Klopp’s talented strike-force in check, it will be a statement of the progress he has made.