Arsenal vs Burnley Preview
Arsenal will look to immediately bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League after losing their unbeaten record away to Newcastle United. They welcome Burnley to the Emirates Stadium and it is a perfect fixture for them, as the Clarets have struggled to compete since their return to the top flight. In previous years, this would have been viewed as a difficult fixture for the Gunners due to Burnley’s physical approach. However, there have been significant changes under Vincent Kompany and it won’t be as physically combative now.
Last weekend, Mikel Arteta was heavily critical of the match officials and it has created an us against them mentality within the fan-base. That togetherness could prove to be key as the Gunners try to compete on multiple fronts. During the week, they were dominant against Sevilla as it looks like they are going to get through to the knockout rounds of the Champions League. That has renewed optimism and there will be expectation that they take the three points this weekend.
Burnley were always going to struggle to maintain their entertaining style in the Premier League. Although they have continued to play some nice stuff with the ball, they are being punished defensively. Their main problem has been individual mistakes and until they are eradicated, it looks very difficult for them to compete at this level. A relegation battle looks very likely at this stage.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 37 home matches against newly promoted teams.
Burnley have lost their last four matches. They haven’t lost five in a row since the formation of the Premier League.
There are a lot of key players in the Arsenal team. One of the first names on the team sheet is Bukayo Saka and he is integral to the attack at the Emirates Stadium. He carries a dual threat, as he scores goals and creates plenty of chances for team-mates. This season, he has already contributed four goals and three assists. It looks very likely that he reaches double figures for both before the season is finished. That will make it successive seasons reaching that landmark. Saka is now one of the best players in the Premier League, due to his consistency. If Arsenal are to challenge for the title, they need to keep him fit and firing.
Burnley have struggled to make their mark since their return to the Premier League. They haven’t found their best team and Kompany will be hoping to find a winning combination in the coming weeks. One player that has provided respite to supporters is Luca Koleosho. He looks to be a very exciting player and he hasn’t looked out of place in the Premier League. Although he has only contributed one assist, he is regularly carrying a threat in the final third and improvement in end product is expected. He is only 18. On Saturday, he will look to run at the Arsenal defence and try to create chances for his team.
Thomas Partey could be out until 2024 and that is a concern for Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus and Emile Smith Rowe are both unavailable this weekend. Eddie Nketiah and Martin Odegaard are both doubts.
Lyle Foster has been given some time off due to personal issues. Josh Cullen will be suspended after collecting five yellow cards this season.
This is going to be a difficult game for Burnley. They have shown flashes of ability in the Premier League, but they look several levels below Arsenal. Away from home, it will be hard for them to get anything from the game. The Gunners will be determined to find the winning thread again in the league. This could be a convincing home win.
Arsenal 3-0 Burnley