This clash sees in-form Arsenal travel to Burnley for another important Premier League duel. Burnley will be reasonably happy with their form during this tough spell with a victory over Manchester City and draws with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Brom all coming since March. But in Arsenal, Sean Dyche’s side face the most in-form side in the Premier League with Arsene Wenger’s team destroying Liverpool 4-1 in last weekend’s round of fixtures. If Burnley get anything from this game it could prove to be a decisive result in the fight to avoid relegation with Burnley almost at the end of their horrifying run against the big boys. Arsenal will just be looking for a simple victory to consolidate second place after finally leapfrogging City.
Burnley have just the three injury worries ahead of this game with only one fighting to be fit. Matthew Taylor might make the game after his calf injury but Dean Marney and Kevin Long are both out for the season with ACL knee injuries.
Arsene Wenger and his side have just three injuries to worry about this weekend. Centre-back Laurent Koscielny (groin) and ‘keeper Wojciech Szcznesny (rib) are both facing late fitness tests whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should be out with a hamstring strain.
- Burnley have conceded 10 goals in their last four games against the Gunners.
- Arsenal have won their last seven games in the Premier League, the longest current streak in the division. Nobody has won eight in a row at any point during the season.
- Arsenal have the exact same record as they did at this stage last season (W19, D6, L6).
- Danny Ings has scored (9) or assisted (4) half of Burnley’s 26 goals so far this season.
- Olivier Giroud is the first Arsenal player to score in six consecutive Premier League games since Emmanuel Adebayor in 2008.
It’s probably beyond question to say that Danny Ings has been Burnley’s best player since their return to the Premier League. The dynamic frontman has led the line well at Turf Moor whilst combining well with his teammates in the process.
The pacey Englishman has been touted for a move up the Premier League with teams such as Liverpool and Manchester United. So far this season, Ings has created 31 chances for his teammates with four assists to add to that. The 22 year old forward has also completed 51% of his attempted take-ons, showing he can beat a man with the ball. One area that Ings could certainly improve is his shooting accuracy. 41% probably isn’t good enough for a player yearning to play at a higher level in the Premier League so some extra shooting practice wouldn’t go amiss.
What a sensational comeback from injury it’s been for Olivier Giroud. Since the Frenchman made his comeback, Arsenal have simply gone up a gear and the France international looks full of confidence in front of goal.
The Arsenal frontman has scored seven goals in his last six games and now has 14 league goals for the season at a rate of 0.94 goals per game (p/90) – a league best. Not only is Giroud a potent finisher, he is a fantastic hold-up player who can create with the best of Arsenal’s creative midfielders. Giroud completes 1.41 key passes p/90 which is a competitive figure for a forward, on top of this he creates 1.62 chances p/90 for his colleagues. Giroud’s excellent shooting accuracy is another reason that the forward has become more threatening in front of goal with the Frenchman now landing 57% of his efforts on target.
My prediction for this one is going to be an Arsenal win despite Burnley’s impressive results against the top sides in recent months. I’m going for 3-1 to Arsenal with Giroud to get on the scoresheet once again.