Arsenal will come up against high-flying Burnley on Sunday afternoon and there are any number of things that could go wrong.
We travel to Turf Moore to play a Burnley side who find themselves level on points with us.
Sean Dyche’s side have been more than impressive. They’ve lost just two games in the Premier League so far, and find themselves a dizzy seventh, behind Arsenal only on goal difference.
Arsenal are coming off a euphoric 2-0 win over Tottenham, but the game against Burnley certainly has a banana skin feel to it.
In fact, you’d feel relatively confident that something will go wrong for Arsenal on Sunday.
As such, here are five such things Arsenal could mess up.
1. Arsenal will fail to break Burnley down
Burnley are a workmanlike side under Dyche. Short of the talent and ability that other team’s in the league possess, he put all of Burnley’s resources into creating a tough-to-beat unit who will at least try to work harder than you. They’ve conceded just nine goals so far, and only two of those have come at Turf Moore. Fans will recall that Arsenal needed a controversial late winner from Laurent Koscielny to win there last season. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Arsenal toiled away for little reward on Sunday.
2. Arsenal will concede on the counter or from a set-piece
On the flip side to Burnley’s impressive defensive record is their less-than-impressive goalscoring record. At home, they’ve scored just five times, with two of those goals coming in a recent 2-0 win over Swansea. That doesn’t mean Arsenal shouldn’t be concerned, however. We’ve shipped 12 goals on the road, and are likely to concede a sloppy goal from a set-piece or counter-attack when we’re not fully concentrating. We might not concede more than once, but that one goal could be all Burnley need.
3. Arsenal will concede a penalty
If set-pieces or counters won’t do it, then there’s a decent chance Arsenal will concede a penalty. Arsenal have had two penalties given against them this season in the Premier League, perhaps due to a large number of defensive mistakes. We were hyper-focused against Spurs, but doing the same against Burnley when their attacks are likely to be sporadic will be a tough ask for a back-line prone to lapses in concentration and judgement.
4. The referee will screw Arsenal
This isn’t to suggest that the referees are against us, but in recent weeks there have been some very questionable calls. Some will suggest that the Spurs game has evened that out, but this is the Premier League, where referees range from bad to horrific on any given matchday. A dive to win a penalty, or an offside that never was, or an offside that wasn’t offside in any way – take your pick from the poor Premier League refereeing grab bag.
5. Arsenal buy into their own hype
I don’t think there’s any other side in the league quite as prone as believing their own hype as Arsenal are. Having expended so much energy and emotion proving people wrong against Tottenham, the prevailing feeling is that we won’t see anywhere near the same level of dedication against Burnley.
You can just see this team swanning onto the pitch and doing the bare minimum, thinking the win will come eventually.
Something similar happened last season. Arsenal had beaten Chelsea 3-0, won convincingly in the Champions League days after and rocked up at Burnley playing far below the standard they set for themselves. We could easily fall into the same trap again.