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Mikel Arteta admits playing at Anfield is like being in a “washing machine”

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Mikel Arteta is hoping his Arsenal side can avoid the Anfield “washing machine” to secure a long-awaited victory at Liverpool and top the Premier League table on Christmas Day.

The Gunners boss will be aiming for a clean sheet after likening the challenge of playing away to Liverpool as being stuck on a spin cycle.

Arsenal have not won at Anfield since Arteta was part of the side that secured a 2-0 victory in September 2012.

The Spaniard knows first-hand the challenge of getting a result at Liverpool, having also gone there with neighbours Everton before his stint at Arsenal.

Victory, though, would be enough to keep the north London side top of the tree over the Christmas period but Arteta – who once piped ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ around the training ground in a forlorn attempt to prepare his side for the atmosphere of Anfield – knows it will not be easy.

“It is different, different like Old Trafford,” he said.

“Old Trafford has a beautiful atmosphere as well and something that historically is an unbelievable place to go. There are a few in this country. The Emirates is one of them as well.

“I think I explained that sometimes when you don’t feel at your best and you feel that they are on top of you and you cannot get out of that washing machine.

“You try to overcome those situations but that’s a learning — it happened once and it didn’t happen again.”

2H75E0T Liverpool, England, 20th November 2021. Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal disagree and are kept apart during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

Asked how to counter such a problem, Arteta said he wants his own team to put the hosts in a spin by “putting on our washing machine that is very powerful.”

Not someone who is afraid to air his dirty linen in public, two years ago Arteta was involved in a touchline spat with Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp that seemed to galvanise the home supporters as Liverpool once again ran out victors.

Speaking ahead of Saturday evening’s clash, Klopp has called on Liverpool’s fans to bring the noise and said it should not take him clashing with an opposing manager to find a spark.

But Arteta said “there won’t be any” trouble on the touchline after he picked up his fourth booking of the season in last weekend’s win over Brighton.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (right) exchanges words with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (not pictured) during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday November 20, 2021. Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

Instead, Arteta has now challenged his Arsenal side to end another hoodoo and win at Anfield for the first time in 11 years.

Having toasted four years as Arsenal manager earlier in the week, Arteta has already overseen wins at Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, while this season they beat Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Next up is to leave Anfield with three points and Arteta added: “We have done it at Old Trafford, we have done it at Stamford Bridge and many other places where we haven’t done it for years.

“This is the next challenge. Go there and win. If you want to be at the top you have to go to those places and be dominant. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”