Burnley v Arsenal: Premier League Match Preview
Burnley host Arsenal in the Premier League at Turf Moor this afternoon (2.00pm kick-off UK time).
The teams go into today’s match in 6th and 7th positions in the Premier League table, with 22 points from 12 matches.
The Gunners being ahead of their hosts on goal difference.
Burnley are only 18 points off their best ever Premier League points tally (40 in 2016/17).
Burnley have won three consecutive top-flight games for the first time since January 1975, when Status Quo were number one with ‘Down Down’.
Turf Moor has only seen seven goals scored in six Premier League matches this season; fewer than any other stadium in the competition.
Arsenal have a 100% win record at home this season in the Premier League (W6).
It has been a very different story away from home, where they have only picked up four points in six matches (W1, D1, L4).
The win came at Everton and the point at Chelsea.
Arsenal will hope that there 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium last weekend will be the springboard for a more consistent Premier League run.
A win today will see the Gunners leapfrog their north London rivals into 4th position in the Premier League table.
Arsenal are yet to lose in 6 Premier League meetings with Burnley (W5, D1).
Burnley have won just one of their last 13 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions (D3 L9), winning 2-0 in a League Cup tie at Turf Moor in December 2008.
Arsenal have won their last six meetings in all competitions against Burnley, including the last two in the Premier League at Turf Moor by a 1-0 scoreline.
Arsenal did the double over Burnley last season, but both matches were close and ended in controversy.
The Gunners took all three points at Turf Moor with a 1-0 win on 2nd October 2016. Laurent Koscielny’s bundled the ball into the net in the 3rd minute of injury time. The goal was allowed to stand despite him appearing to be standing in a offside position and the ball going into net via his arm.
Arsenal won the match at the Emirates Stadium 2-1 on 22 January 2017. Shkodran Mustafi’s goal in the 59th minute appeared as if it was going to the give the Gunners all three points, despite the sending off of Granit Xhaka. But Burnley were controversially awarded a penalty in the third minute of injury time, which was converted by Andre Gray. Arsenal though won it with a controversial penalty of their own awarded in the 8th minute of injury time, which was converted by Alexis Sanchez.
Jack Cork made his England debut during the International break. The £10m signing from Swansea City is now beginning to fulfil the promise he showed as a youngster at Chelsea.
Cork’s midfield partnership with Steven Defour has been a key cornerstone of Burnley’s excellent start to the season. Both have started every Premier League match this season.
Jeff Hendrick has had a hand in three goals in nine Premier League games this season (two goals, one assist) – the same total he registered in 32 appearances in 2016-17
Mesut Ozil will want to continue the fine form he showed in the north London win over Tottenham Hotspur in the last Premier League match. Since making his Premier League debut in September 2013, Ozil has provided 45 assists, more than any other player in the competition and 21 more than any other Gunners player in that time.
Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals in his five meetings with Burnley in all competitions, though is yet to net at Turf Moor.
“Our style of play is moving forward slightly, and it does take time.
“Look at Arsenal. When Arsene Wenger first took over at Arsenal despite – what people think now – they weren’t rolling the ball out across the six-yard line, playing 300 passes in and around the box.
“They were getting the ball forward and being successful in a different way. And over the years they have changed that to adapt to the modern needs of football.
“And we’re a diluted version of that. But let’s not lose sight of the core values of what we do well.”
“Burnley are the surprise package because before the season if you asked 100 people if Burnley would have 22 points at this stage of the season, 90 would have said no – and the 10 others would have been Burnley supporters,” the Arsenal manager said.
“So overall they have done extremely well. They benefit as well from the fact that Sean Dyche has done an outstanding job but also from the stability in their team. They know each other for years now and that is why they are a difficult proposal for anyone now.
“Turf Moor is a very difficult place to go for everybody. I believe that their capacity to be efficient with a restricted possession as well [is a big strength].
“They have won games with 25 per cent or 30 per cent possession, that means they are calm, they know what to do and they are patient with that killing instinct of a snake. They put you to their face and then they bite you.”
Nick Pope will continue in-goal for the Clarets in the place of the injured Tom Heaton
Chris Wood is available for selection following a good week of training. He missed the game against Swansea with jet lag after playing for New Zealand in World Cup qualifying.
Jon Walters is closing on a return to first team action from a long-term injury, but won’t feature today.
Dean Marney continues to build his fitness with the Burnley U23s as he recovers from injury.
Arsene Wenger is set to revert to starting eleven who beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the north London derby last weekend.
He made 11 changes for Thursday’s Europa League defeat in Cologne.
Theo Walcott once again misses out (illness), but is expected to return next week.
Santi Cazorla (ankle) is the only long-term absentee for the Gunners with Danny Welbeck in contention despite coming off at half-time in Germany having recovered from a recent groin problem.
Referee: Lee Mason
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Matthew Wilkes
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss
Arsenal to win 2-1.