At this time of the season, with not enough points, stuck in the middle of the premiership table and still wary of the relegation zone, a fixture with Sean Dyche’s battle hardened and begrudging Burnley, is not quite top of Mikel Arteta’s wish list.
Arteta and Dyche are in desperate need of a win, both are on the same amount of points and if Arsenal were to lose and others in the mid table scrum were to win, the gunners could be in serious trouble.
Dyche will ensure, as he always does, that his team close down quickly, stifle Arsenal’s flair and apply a physical element, just to let the gunners know they are in a fiercely competitive game.
Burnley are far better than they are given credit for and Arsenal need to be better than they have been so far.
Arteta has got to get his players to maintain their shape, choosing from Rob Holding, still short of match time. David Luiz back from suspension and Sokratis at the mercy of his own robust enthusiasm in a tackle.
Torreira and Xhaka must perform exceptionally well at the back as well as going forward to give Burnley something to worry about and the front players must maintain possession and offer a genuine threat of pace.
Either that or Arteta takes the unprecedented step of replacing the misfiring Frenchman with his more prolific strike partner, allowing the young Brazilian bargain another outing on the flank.
It will undoubtedly be a familiar Arsenal line up rather than a baptism for the new recruits and the gunners should get a narrow win if they concentrate for the full 90 minutes plus.
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Burnley have lost their last 11 matches against Arsenal, which is of some comfort, a run stretching back to March 2010 and previous history has also seen them fail to open the scoring in 11 attempts.
However, don’t assume that this game is going to be a breeze, Arsenal will have to fight hard and be resolute at the back or it could all go horribly wrong.
Probable Starting XI for Arsenal vs Burnley:
Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Saka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette.
2-1 Arsenal win.