Having won seven consecutive matches, Arsenal go into Saturday evening’s clash with Burnley as the team in form, picking up thirty points out of a possible thirty three in the last eleven Premier League fixtures. Burnley on the other hand, are fighting relegation and will certainly not go down without a fight in their own back yard. Having picked up points against Chelsea, Sp*rs, United and City, Burnley should not be taken lightly.
After a thumping victory against Liverpool at the Emirates last Saturday, Arsenal have illustrated the level of their performance, and there are no excuses for that level to drop. While Burnley are more defensively secure and hard working at home, it is a winnable game and offers the chance to continue our momentum into the FA Cup semi-final next week.
“They are quite efficient at home because they have made 18 points from 26 at home. Therefore we have to produce the expected performance on the commitment, on the focus and on the quality of our game.” – Wenger on Burnley.
In terms of Arsenal team news, overwhelmingly, five players are back from injury – Mathieu Debuchy, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Wojiech Szczesny and Aaron Ramsey all return which will provide a selection headache for the manager. The likes of Calum Chambers, Tomas Rosicky and Chuba Akpom could potentially lose their place in the squad.
In my opinion, squad depth is good and competition is healthy. However the flip side to this is that, with Lukas Podolski, Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo all returning from their loan spells at the end of the season, some of Arsenal’s players who are low down the pecking order may leave the club this summer.
The last time Arsenal played Burnley away in the Premier League was in 2009 where Cesc Fabregas scored Arsenal’s only goal in a 1-1 draw. The only four players who are still in the squad now as they were then are Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Theo Walcott (all featuring) and Jack Wilshere (unused substitute). Interestingly, Mike Dean was the referee in that match six years ago, and he will referee the game again tomorrow.
Have a splendid Friday, everyone. Let’s all hope for three points tomorrow! Follow me on Twitter @TheChileanPele.