After going 22 matches unbeaten, Arsenal have now lost consecutive matches after losing 3-2 to Southampton on Sunday 2-0 to Tottenham in the League Cup on Wednesday. They’ll need to bounce back against Burnley or risk falling behind in the race for the top four. The Gunners are only three points behind Chelsea in fourth, but this festive period could be a huge turning point in their top four race, for better or for worse. They have three very winnable matches against Burnley, Brighton and Hove Albion and Fulham, along with a difficult match against Liverpool. If they get 10 to 12 points in that stretch, they will be in with a real shout of the top four. If they get fewer than nine points, they could see themselves firmly on the outside looking in. They need to start that important stretch with a win on Saturday.
Burnley are desperate for points in a different way, as they look to be in the thick of the relegation race. After finishing seventh last season, the Clarets find themselves in 18th through 17 matches. With their Premier League future on the line, they’ll be looking to pick up points anywhere they can and a now struggling Arsenal side is as good a place to begin as any.
- Arsenal have something of an injury crisis in defence. They will be without Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck and Konstantinos Mavropanos, according to Physioroom.com.
- Burnley will be without Aaron Lennon, Stephen Ward and could be without Steven Defour, according to Physioroom.com.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
With Mesut Ozil’s uncertain future, Arsenal will need to get as much out of Aubameyang. He has been fantastic to this point with 10 Premier League goals in 17 appearances. He is one of the best goalscorers in the league and has shown that this season. Burnley concedes more shots per game than any other team in the league, so Aubameyang will be looking to exploit their vulnerable defense and increase his goal tally.
Burnley: Johann Gudmundsson
Burnley have struggled to find goals in their team this season, with no one scoring more than three Premier League goals so far. Gudmundsson only has two, but he has also assisted four, giving him more goal contributions than anyone else in the team. In all likelihood, Arsenal will score and Burnley will likely need multiple goals to get anything from their trip to the Emirates. Based on how their season is going, they’ll need Gudmundsson to contribute to one of them.
While Arsenal have had a bit of a hiccup in their form, it would be a real shock if they don’t win this one.