Burnley vs Arsenal: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Arsenal have recovered well after a shaky start and are beginning to look like one of the best sides in the league. It was obvious that their recruitment was poorly thought out during the summer and they didn’t do their business until it was too late. However, their side has now clicked and the results are emphasising that fact. On Sunday, they face a potential tricky match away to Burnley, who themselves picked up a crucial win last week against Watford.
Manchester City are the clear favourites to win the league title, but Arsenal have the potential to push them all the way. The Gunners have an excellent squad and Arsene Wenger will know that he now has the tools to challenge in the big competitions. It has been a long time since the club won a major honour, but they have a good opportunity to put that right this season.
Their opponents, Burnley, are one of the favourites for relegation and will feel no pressure this weekend as they come up against one of the big sides. That said, they showed that they can compete with the best, as they beat Liverpool earlier in the season. On Sunday, they will be compact at the back and look to frustrate their superior opposition. Sean Dyche knows that his side have the ability to score goals on the counter attack and that will be their gameplan this weekend.
Burnley have taken seven points from their opening six matches, which has provided them with a solid platform to push on from as we enter October. Their problem has been scoring goals this season, as they have just five to their name. Steven Defour has added some much needed creativity and the pressure will be on him as the season progresses.
The visitors have won their last four league matches, scoring a remarkable 12 goals in the process as they recover from losing their opening day fixture to Liverpool. They have maintained their impressive form in Europe, taking four points from their first two Champions League matches.
Burnley are unlikely to make any changes from the team that beat Watford, as they performed well on Monday and picked up the three points. It is likely to be the same situation as the last time that Burnley were in the Premier League in that they won’t change their starting eleven very often, as the quality isn’t in the squad.
Arsenal will definitely make one change from the side that beat FC Basel, as Petr Cech will return to the starting eleven. The rest of the side is likely to remain the same as they played some great football against the Swiss side.
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Burnley don’t have any major injury concerns ahead of the match against Arsenal, with Ashley Barnes the only player in the treatment room. Andre Gray will be missing through suspension, which is a major blow for the home side.
Francis Coquelin is a major doubt for the trip to Burnley as he has a knee injury. Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey won’t be available until after the international break. Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck are unlikely to feature until the new year.
Burnley won’t be easy to beat as they have showed on numerous occasions this season. They concede few goals and enjoy the underdogs tag. That said, Arsenal have been getting better and better every week. They should extend their winning run with a victory this weekend, but I don’t expect them to score lots of goals. It will be a difficult test for the Gunners and if they come through, they need to be taken as serious contenders to Manchester City.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Stuart MacFarlane
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