After promotion in 2014 and a year in the Premier League, Burnley are far from an unknown quantity on Saturday.
The Clarets are pretty well known, and the way Sean Dyche sets his team out will come as no surprise to Arsène Wenger’s men in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Having said that, there’s still no doubt that Wenger’s side will be expected to prevail, but Dyche is happy to be the man trying to upset the apple cart.
“In the Championship we are viewed differently this season than two seasons ago, and certainly last year in the Premier League,” the Burnley manager said on Friday.
“We obviously are the underdogs and the weight of expectation will understandably be on Arsenal purely because of the grandeur of the club and the fact they are going well again.
“Not many will fancy us, but there are no guarantees and that is the marvel of the underdog spirit and the magic of the cup.”
It is indeed the fabled magic of the cup, and we see it all over the country every season. Upsets are more common when the underdog is at home, but they can occur when they’re away too – just last season Chelsea and Manchester City lost to Bradford City and Middlesbrough respectively, despite hosting the ties.
If nothing else Burnley will be organised and motivated, making Saturday anything but easy for the hosts.
“We’ll just look to perform and that’s the main thing and then we’ll take things from there.”
You can’t help but admire Dyche’s optimism, though he clearly knows the huge task he has on his hands. The game is win-win for him; Burnley will lose to Arsenal as expected and get a fair amount of money or they won’t lose and will get a fair amount of money as well as a morale boosting result.
As Dyche rightly said, all the pressure is on the Gunners to perform. Will that make a difference?