Arsène Wenger says Burnley present the Gunners with a different sort of challenge to the one faced against Tottenham last weekend.
Burnley are level with Arsenal on points at the moment, having made a very strong start to the season. So there’s no doubt in Arsène Wenger’s mind that travelling to Turf Moor will be a test, but he explained to the club website how it would differ from last weekend: “The intensity of the [Tottenham] game was total because both teams went for it,” Wenger said.
“Both teams, every time they won the ball, went forward so the intensity was higher.
“Every game gives you a different problem to sort out, for you to find a strategic solution to be efficient. Against Burnley, that will be different. They are a team who maybe play a bit deeper than Tottenham because they have a strong defensive efficiency.
“You have to keep your nerve, even if you have the ball, to be calm and accurate. You have to be defensively strong as well because they are very efficient going forward.
“Burnley are the most unexpected team to be there with 22 points. You cannot deny that, of course. But if you analyse our games physically, we have been strong physically since the start of the season.”
Arsenal’s physical dominance was something pundits gave them a lot of credit for last weekend, but playing against a team that’s built around those kinds of attributes is another matter. As Wenger points out, Burnley are also less likely to try and put the Gunners under pressure at every opportunity, instead focusing on staying solid at the back and picking their moments.
Arsenal have lost twice as many league games as Burnley this season, so although the home side haven’t been able to put together as many wins as the Gunners, they’ll be confident in their ability to at least get a draw.
Which means, as so often in these kinds of games, Arsenal will need to figure out how to find the openings, and be prepared to wear their opponents down.
Hopefully they’ll be able to do so but it is by no means guaranteed.