On November first, bottom of the table Burnley travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal. With only four points from the opening nine matches, Burnley need to get a win on the board as soon as possible. Playing Arsenal at the Emirates is not exactly the easiest place to get your first win of the season, but Burnley have to get it soon or they are in for a long season. On papaer, this looks like it should be an easy win for Arsenal, but no match has been easy for the gunners so far. They have struggled to get into top gear so far and have had a lot of poor performances to start off the season. Arsenal are in desperate need of the three points to get their season back on track, while Burnley need the three points to get their season started.
In typical Arsenal style, the gunners are in an injury crisis missing multiple players that would be in the starting XI. David Ospina, Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy, and Mesut Ozil are all missing with long term injuries. Laurent Koscielny is also out for a couple weeks with Arsene Wenger saying he expects him back after the next international break.
For all of Arsenal’s injuries this season, Burnley are also missing some key players. The Bees are missing Sam Vokes and Matty Taylor through long term injuries. Steven Reid could make his return to the team, but it is unknown whether he will or not. The Bees should be lifted by the return of Dean Marney against the gunners.
The first meeting between these two sides was back in 1897 when Burnley beat Woolwich Arsenal 5-0. Historically Arsenal hold an edge in the match up winning 40 matches drawing 20 and losing 31. In the Premier League era, the two have only met five times with Arsenal winning three Burnley winning once and the teams drawing once. In Burnely’s two prior trips to the Emirates, the Bees have lost by a combined score of 6-1. Arsene Wenger’s side is unbeaten at home in the league in their last 21 with their last home league loss coming to Aston Villa on the opening day of the 2013/2014 season.
Arsenal – Alexis Sanchez
The name on the lips of every Arsenal fan at the moment is Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been electric since arriving at the Emirates, carrying the team at times. The former Barcelona man has eight goals and three assists in his first 13 games for the North London club. Arsenal’s number 17 has dragged the under performing gunners kicking and screaming to some important results recently, including their 2-0 win over Sunderland at the weekend where Sanchez bagged himself a brace. The skill, technique, work rate, and pure desire of the Chilean has been vital for the squad. The Sunderland game at the weekend epitomized the work rate that the former Udinese man possess with both of his goals coming from his constant pressing. Alexis Sanchez is quite simply world class and, if he shows his class against Burnley, Arsenal should have enough to get the three points.
Burnley – Danny Ings
Burnley have lacked goals all season, so their key man is there best goalscorer, Danny Ings. The 22 year old was Burnley’s top scorer in the Championship last season. The English striker finally opened his Premier League account over the weekend with the Bees only goal in a 3-1 loss to Everton. Through nine games, Burnley have only scored five goals, only Villa have scored fewer goals this season. The lack of goals has had an effect on the entire team and seems to have dragged down the team’s moral. The former Bourmouth striker is the team’s best striker and is the player with the class to put the ball in the back of the net consistently. Ings has to be the catalyst up front for Burnley to get anything from this match.
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This game should be an Arsenal win. Burnley are struggling, the gunners are at home, and they haven’t lost at home since opening day last season. The reason football is so great is that anything can happen in any given match, but I’m going to go with an Arsenal win. It may not be comfortable, but I believe Arsene Wenger’s side will get the three points in the end.
Prediction: 2-0 Arsenal