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Arsenal v Burnley: Match preview
Fresh from opening day victories, Arsenal and Burnley renew hostilities in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
The Gunners beat Newcastle 1-0 in an uninspiring affair at a rainy St James’ Park in the first match of the season and they will be looking to kick-off a Premier League campaign with two consecutive victories for the first time since 2009-10.
Burnley began the Premier League season with an unexpected 3-0 win over Southampton, but they have lost their last 10 matches against Arsenal in all competitions in a run stretching back to March 2010.
The Clarets will be especially wary of marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who boasts a remarkable goalscoring record against Burnley.
The Gabon international has scored twice in the last three meetings between the sides, a feat achieved by only Michael Owen against Newcastle United between 1998 and 2001 and Harry Kane against Everton between 2017 and 2018.
With the tantalising prospect of Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and £72m summer signing Nicolas Pepe all lining up on Saturday, Burnley will have to show their renowned defensive mettle to keep the Gunners’ formidable forward trio at bay.
However, history suggests that Burnley’s defensive unit may have their work cut out in North London. The Gunners have won all seven games against Burnley at home, scoring 21 goals and conceding just four.
What’s more, Emery has revealed that Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac could return this weekend after they missed the trip to Newcastle due to security reasons.
With David Luiz, an £8m acquisition from Chelsea on deadline day, and loanee Dani Ceballos also waiting in the wings, Arsenal have options aplenty ahead of their first home game of the campaign.
Emery sprung a selection surprise against Newcastle, with 19-year-olds Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson afforded a starting berth, but it was the experienced hand Aubameyang who secured all three points with a clinical lofted finish over Martin Dubravka.
After latching onto a pinpoint through ball from Ainsley Maitland-Niles, the 30-year-old punished the Magpies’ for a costly momentary lapse in concentration.
Burnley raced out of the blocks after a relatively quiet summer against Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Dyche said his side have “come back with a real edge” after second-half goals from striker Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson blew Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side away in Lancashire in what was their biggest opening day league victory since 1966.
Burnley failed to press on last season, due in part to their European obligations, but they will be looking to build on their opening day victory and push for a top half finish in their fourth season in the top flight.
Barnes, a £450,000 signing from Brighton in January 2014, is integral to their plans. The Austrian international who has scored 37 goals in 166 appearances for the Clarets has had a stellar 2019.
He has scored 11 goals in the calendar year, one more than Liverpool's Mo Salah and Saturday’s opponent Aubameyang.
Speaking about his star striker, Dyche said: “You learn the game more and more, the older you get, the wiser you get.
“He continues to learn about himself and the game, and that mental resilience grows the more you play at the highest level.
“He is certainly a very effective player, he continues to learn about himself and his game and how he can be effective.”
With a wealth of attacking options on show at the Emirates on Saturday, Burnley’s trip to Arsenal promises to be a thrilling start to the weekend’s Premier League action.
Arsenal v Burnley: The managers
Arsenal boss Emery: “It’s the first match at home this year and we’re looking forward to meeting with our supporters in the Emirates. We’re preparing with big work, we’re enthusiastic for each moment this week to prepare. It’s going to be difficult this year, starting at home against Burnley.
“They’re in a very good moment, they won 3-0 and had an amazing pre-season. They are a strong team with a clear structure. Last year against us they played 3-5-2 and changed, I think they will play 4-4-2.
“They are a team with a good coach, experienced here in England, and in the Premier League they are playing, working, doing a good way. Saturday we need all the best for us individually and collectively.
“Above all we need to impose our gameplan and be confident, be with our supporters, feeling good to try to impose our idea. We have a lot of things to be positive about.”
Burnley boss Dyche: “They are a top side, but we’ve shown before we can take points off the top sides.
“We’ve had decent performances against Arsenal and probably a couple of harsh decisions have gone against us.
“You need the rub of the green and might need a decision. It might be a bit more measured with VAR and you certainly won’t have had the decisions we have had go against us, but when it comes down to it you have to perform.
“We have to look to build on last week, and it’s always about performances with me, if you keep putting performances in, they will pay you back.
“The players have come back clear-minded and with a more powerful edge to their fitness. It’s early yet, but it’s nice to at least see that work get you off to a good start.”
Arsenal v Burnley: Team news
Granit Xhaka (bruised back) will undergo a fitness test ahead of kick-off, while new signing Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Dinos Mavropanos are all sidelined.
Chelsea loanee Danny Drinkwater will not be involved for Burnley but Charlie Taylor could feature.
Steven Defour and Robbie Brady have returned to training following calf and rib injuries.
Arsenal v Burnley: Head-to-head
Arsenal have won their last 10 matches against Burnley in all competitions, a run stretching back to March 2010.
|12/05/2019||Premier League||Burnley 1-3 Arsenal||Barnes; Aubameyang (2), Nketiah|
|22/12/2018||Premier League||Arsenal 3-1 Burnley||Aubameyang (2), Iwobi; Nketiah|
|06/05/2018||Premier League||Arsenal 5-0 Burnley||Aubameyang (2), Lacazette, Kolasinac, Iwobi|
|26/11/2017||Premier League||Burnley 0-1 Arsenal||Sanchez|
|22/01/2017||Premier League||Arsenal 2-1 Burnley||Mustafi, Sanchez; Gray|
Arsenal v Burnley: Key stats
Burnley have won just one of their last 19 away games against Arsenal in all competitions, winning 1-0 at Highbury in the top-flight in September 1974 (W1 D3 L15).
In the Premier League, Arsenal have won their last nine games against Burnley – they have only had longer runs against Man City (11 between 1994 and 2004) and Newcastle United (10 between 2012 and 2017).
At the Emirates, Arsenal have won all seven games against Burnley, scoring 21 goals and conceding just four; the only team the Gunners have faced more often at home since 2006-07 and won each game against is Stoke City (10 wins in 10 games).
Arsenal have lost their first home Premier League match of the season in five of the last eight seasons (W2 D1 L5), losing 0-2 to Manchester City last season.
Arsenal are looking to kick-off a Premier League campaign with two consecutive victories for the first time since 2009-10, when they beat Everton and Portsmouth.
Burnley have never won both of their opening two matches to a Premier League season before, last doing so in the top-flight in 1973-74 and in any division in the 2006-07 Championship.
Among all teams to have featured in more than two Premier League campaigns, Burnley have conceded more goals-per-game in away games vs London clubs than any other side (2.3 – 61 goals in 27 games). The Clarets have taken just one point from their last 21 available in the capital (W0 D1 L6).
Burnley boss Sean Dyche has lost all eight of his Premier League matches against Arsenal – the only manager with a worse 100% losing ratio against an opponent is Gary Megson against Liverpool, who lost all nine of his games against the Reds.
Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored a brace in all three of his Premier League games against Burnley – only two players have ever scored two or more in four consecutive games against an opponent; Michael Owen vs Newcastle United between 1998 and 2001 and Harry Kane vs Everton between 2017 and 2018.
- Among the 56 players who’ve played 10 or more Premier League games for Burnley, goalkeeper Nick Pope is the only one to have won more games than he’s lost for the Clarets in the competition. (14 wins, 11 defeats).
Arsenal v Burnley: Match odds
Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Bet365.