Who would have predicted that a trip to Turf Moor in November would be such a huge match for the Gunners?
Arsenal travel to Burnley for their 2pm Sunday kick-off this weekend. A win could see them rise up to third if Tottenham and Liverpool drop points against West Brom and Chelsea respectively.
Alternatively, if the Clarets get a result against us, we could sink down to seventh while they leapfrog us and, while Arsenal are favoured in premier league betting odds, I still reckon it’ll be a close call.
Burnley are doing well this season. They’ve only lost once at home in the Premier League and once on the road, which is seriously impressive considering we’ve been defeated four times already.
Last season, Arsenal managed to win at Turf Moor, which has become a fortress over the last season and a half. Arsenal also triumphed at the Emirates. Therefore, we should feel reasonably confident heading into the clash, especially considering our impressive display against Spurs last weekend.
However, as we all know, the Gunners don’t always travel well.
Five defeats from nine games away from home in all competitions looks even worse when you restrict that to just Premier League matches (4 in 6). Stoke, Liverpool, Watford and City have all taken maximum points from Arsenal this season. Press high and hard or just let Arsenal have the ball for more than 70% of the match if you want to collect the points. You heard it here first – years ago.
Top teams are judged by how they do against the other top team. So far, Arsenal have failed that test. While Manchester City stand apart, the hiding Arsenal got at Anfield highlighted numerous flaws. Burnley will offer a completely different challenge, but Arsenal’s ability to deal with Sean Dyche’s gameplan will tell us just as much about this side as games against Liverpool and, to a lesser extent, City.
Since the two teams first met in February 1896, Arsenal have won 49 games to Burnley’s 33. We’ve drawn 21. So history is on our side. Not that that means much these days.
Fortunately for us though, while Burnley should be refreshed after having a week’s break, so are we. Although we played in the Europa League on Thursday, which might as well not have happened as no one seems to care, that was our B-team. Presumably, Arsene Wenger will put out the same starting XI as we saw against Spurs.
The only player Arsenal have sidelined at the moment is Santi Cazorla (Achilles), while Burnley have Tom Heaton (shoulder), Dean Marney (unfit) and Jonathan Walters (knee) all potentially out of action for the clash. Theo Walcott will not be involved as he is still recovering from an illness.
2-1 to Arsenal.
I can’t bring myself to believe we’ll keep a clean sheet at Turf Moor but I’m
thinking hoping we’ll edge the scoreline in the end.
Cech, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Lacazette.