After a fascinating selection of midweek fixtures, which saw a selection of the side directly above Arsenal drop points, and after last week’s impressive away win against Leicester, the Gunners will be starting to dream again about chasing a European place in the League, ahead of their visit to Burnley tomorrow lunchtime.
Whilst Sean Dyche’s mean are back to their organised best and are never a pushover at Turf Moor but Arsenal have traditionally done will at the home of the Clarets. Indeed, last season’s draw was the only time Arsenal have not taken three points in Burnley’s two Premier league spells. Burnley had a huge boost with their main man, Chris Wood returning this week after a 6-game absence and his manager was delighted with his performance. This factor, I suspect, might see Rob Holding come in for David Luiz to combat the Kiwi’s aerial threat.
Checking a list of UK betting sites tells me that all make Arsenal marginal favourites which given the form and the lack of injuries in Arteta’s squad compared to Dyche’s and the North London side’s record at Turf Moor, I make them right. Arteta’s has a slight concern of Emile Smith- Rowe but give the able alternative Martin Odegaard, I cannot see the Croydon De Bruyne being risked. That aside, the Spaniard has a full squad to select from and give that players like Pepe and even Willian are coming into form, as at Leicester he should be able to rotate, ahead of a huge Europa League match on Thursday.
I think Holding and Mari will both play, leaving Gabriel and Luiz for the Olympiacos clash and Arteta selection at right back may tell is who he sees as his first choice now, Cedric or Bellerin? It is a big call though as Dwight McNeill always poses as threat. I believe Willian and Pepe may also get the nod, with Saka being rested once more. The Manager, given the long break from Saturday lunchtime until Thursday, be tempted to bring back his skipper, Aubameyang, who simply loves scoring against Burnley. The Gabonese has scored 7 versus The Clarets, more than he has against any other opposition in the Premier League.
While Arteta has nice dilemmas, his opposite number is almost certainly without Barnes, and Gudmundsson, Brady, Berg are all doubts. Jack Cork, also, nursed a tight hamstring through their midweek draw with Leicester. I suspect most of the above will be available, but they will not necessarily be match ready, so despite many punters, including Lawro for the BBC suggesting a draw the likely outcome I feel Arsenal will just have too much and will edge it.
If Arsenal are to make a late charge for Europe will some above, including the Champions falter, he must start with a win tomorrow. Particularly when the nest Premier League fixture is the small matter of a North London Derby.
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.