Burnley vs Arsenal: The Preview
By Rob Worthington
Arsenal’s final game before the newly introduced winter break will take place this Sunday at Turf Moor as the gunners take on Sean Dyche’s Burnley. The Clarets’ league form has improved dramatically of late, evident in recent wins against Leicester and Manchester United. However, their long-term form hasn’t been particularly positive for Burnley, with their win against Leicester being their second in the league in their last seven games. Arsenal come into the fixture full of confidence following positive performances against Chelsea and Bournemouth.
Historically, Arsenal have struggled to break Burnley down at Turf Moor, with last season’s away win being the first by at least a two-goal margin since 2008. Nonetheless, Arsenal have not lost to Burnley in the league at all since 1974, which shows that Arsenal still have history on their side in this one.
Last time out against Burnley at the Emirates Stadium, Dani Ceballos wore the Arsenal red and white from the start for the first time and absolutely ran the show. His silky turns, acute passes and impressive work rate had Arsenal fans on their feet and his name rung around the Emirates Stadium for the majority of the game. The score line did not accurately reflect the course of the game, with the 2-1 result perhaps flattering Arsenal, despite it being one of our better, more fluid offensive performances this season. After our infamous bogey man Ashley Barnes’ equaliser levelled the game, an Aubameyang special handed Arsenal the victory on the day.
Two talismen under Arteta: David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, will both return to the Arsenal squad following suspensions. Burnley are only without Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmunsson, who misses out through a thigh injury. Meanwhile, Shkodran Mustafi is added to the Arsenal injury list due to an ankle sprain; he joins Reiss Nelson, Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac.
The onus is on Arsenal to play with the same attacking fluidity that they played with against Bournemouth in the first half. If they do, I see Arsenal securing a convincing victory. However, if we aren’t at our best offensively, a low-scoring draw or a marginal loss is not out of the question. Nonetheless, Arsenal will undoubtedly benefit from the return of Aubameyang and I personally see the Gabonese national captain taking Arsenal to victory in Lancashire on Sunday.
Predicted team: Leno, Bellerìn, Sokratis, Luiz, Saka, Xhaka, Torreira, Pépé, Özil, Martinelli, Aubameyang
Predicted result: Burnley 1-3 Arsenal