Paul Merson has high hopes for Arsenal’s performance against Burnley on Sunday but even he knows where it could all go wrong for the Gunners.
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When the season started back in August, I’m not sure many of us predicted that a trip to Turf Moor in November would end up being a six-pointer. Yet here we are.
It’s fine though, Merson reckons we’ve got this in the bag. Probably. As long as we don’t ‘Arsenal’ it up.
“Burnley will cause Arsenal problems, but I’m going for a 3-1 away win,” the ex-Gunner told Sky Sports.
“These are the type of games where Arsenal prove themselves”
“Do Arsenal turn up? Arsenal surely know they’re going to be in a battle, and if they know that they’ll win.
“If they think it’s a lovely Sunday afternoon stroll in Burnley, there’s only one winner, and that’s Burnley.
“If Arsenal match Burnley’s enthusiasm early on, I can see them winning.
“These are the type of games where Arsenal prove themselves. Man City go and wipe the floor with these teams, but you just don’t know what will happen with Arsenal.
“If Arsene Wenger’s side don’t turn up, they won’t grind out a 1-0 win. It’s all about consistency with Arsenal, the magic one.
“The win over Spurs should change the attitude of some of players, you’d like to think so, but you can’t find two games that are more chalk and cheese; home to Tottenham and away at Burnley.
“The fans were up for it, under pressure to perform, they rub their faces in it. Now it’s Burnley, who won’t leave anything on that pitch. Spurs did, big players didn’t turn up.”
Last weekend, Arsenal did the job against Tottenham in the North London Derby. In fact, we won 2-0 and looked superior in every way, much to most pundits’ surprise. Now, we have to do it again but this time away to Burnley.
The Clarets are currently level with us and Liverpool on points. If Jurgen Klopp’s lot drop points to Chelsea on Saturday, this will give us a chance to leapfrog them into fourth. If we beat Burnley, that is.
Even better, we could go third if Spurs lose to West Brom but that’s just wishful thinking.
Turf Moor has become a fortress over the last two seasons. Last term, they lost just six matches at home, won 10 and drew three. They were the ninth strongest in the Premier League on their own turf despite narrowly avoiding relegation.
This season, they’ve lost just one league game at home and that was to West Brom.
It’s not going to be an easy game by any means and while I agree with Merson that Arsenal will probably manage to overcome Burnley, especially if they play how he they did against Spurs, it could end up being very close.