Mascherano said: "It's a massive game and the best thing is it will give us the chance to close the gap on the top. It's the sort of game in which we can prove we are ready for a season-long challenge for the title.
"On Sunday it is important we press them right up the field from the first minute and don't give them a minute's respite. We need to get at them."
Mascherano revealed his admiration for the stylish Gunners - and one man he is expected to come face-to-face with at Anfield.
He added: "That's an easy one - Cesc Fabregas. Everything goes through him, he is the playmaker.
"He is proving this season that he is one of the best in his position in the world. He's been doing well for a long time but is reaching a really fantastic level at the moment.
"Everyone knows they have great players. Perhaps the only thing that is surprising is how well they've done with such a young squad.
"Most of the players have come through their youth system in one way or another, which is unusual for this country.
"They are playing some fantastic football right now, probably some of the best around at the moment.
"The fact they're top of the league right now means they have a lot of quality - but there are a lot of teams with quality."