On October second, Arsenal travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley. After four straight Premier League wins, the Gunners will be looking to push that streak to five in a row and attempt to gain ground on Manchester City. Burnley snapped their four match winless streak with their 2-0 win over Watford at the weekend. They’ll be looking to pull off a huge upset and stop the Gunners good form in it’s tracks.
Burnley will have most of it’s squad available to them, with Ashley Barnes being the only likely injury absentee. Andre Gray will also miss out after his four match ban by the FA.
Arsenal will be missing a few first teamers. Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck will both continue to miss out with their long term knee injuries. Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey are both still a couple weeks away from fitness, while Olivier Giroud has also been ruled out for the match.
Burnley have not beaten Arsenal since they won 2-0 in the League Cup in December of 2008, and they haven’t beaten them in the Premier League since September 1974. In the three meetings between these two since 2011, Arsenal have won all three by a combined score of 6-1.
Arsenal’s early attacking shot numbers haven’t been great, with the ninth most shots per game in the league. But on the flipside Burnley have been much worse, with the joint worst shots per game in the league. Defensively, Arsenal have allowed the seventh fewest shots per match in the league, while Burnley have allowed the third most.
Burnley: Steven Defour
Burnley didn’t make too many signings this summer, but their signing of Defour from Anderlecht has worked out very well so far. The Belgian has been a part of 80% of Burnley’s goals this season, with one goal and three assists. His abiltiy to play a killer cross was on full display against Watford as he assisted both of the the Clarets goals in their 2-0 win on Monday.
Arsenal: Theo Walcott
After years of false dawns, Arsenal fans are hoping the Walcott they’ve seen recently is the one they’ll be seeing for the foreseeable future. The Englishman has been on fire with four goals in his last four games and his overall performances have been fantastic to start the season.
After years of wanting to be a striker Walcott got his chance last season. That experiment had mixed results and now he has finally accepted his role out on the right. Since moving back to the right, he has ripped defenses apart, with four goals and an assist in all seven matches. When he is on form, Walcott is one of the most dangerous players around, so Burnley will have to keep a wary eye on him on Sunday.
This is a match Burnley will be happy to take a point from, but will quietly think they can steal a win from. The Clarets have already snatched a 2-0 victory over Liverpool this season, and another good result against a big side would be a big morale boost for them. Arsenal on the other hand will not be happy with anything other than a win. With the form they are in, the Gunners should get that win.
Prediction: 2-0 Arsenal