Arsenal v Burnley: PREVIEW
PUBLISHED: 13:15 21 December 2018
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Arsenal will be looking to start another unbeaten run in the Premier League on Saturday as 18th place Burnley visit the Emirates.
The Gunners had their 22-game unbeaten run broken by Southampton last weekend and so will be looking to put things right as quickly as possible.
Unai Emery’s side lost their second game in four days, when they lost 2-0 at home to Spurs in the North London derby in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.
Emery told the Islington Gazette at London Colney earlier this week that he wasn unconcered about a fixture pile-up even with squad resources stretched.
Emery called the loss to Southampton as a ‘big reality check’, and his team will be looking to bounce back against an underperforming Burnley side.
Saturday’s visitors will also be looking for a response to their previous game, when they conceded a last-minute goal to Tottenham Hotspur after a strong performance at Wembley.
Despite suffering their 11th defeat of the season, Sean Dyche revealed he would stick to playing a back three against Arsenal.
With one win in their previous four, it’ll be a challenge for Sean Dyche’s side to take points from the Emirates, where Arsenal are unbeaten in the league since the opening day of the season.
The Gunners are undefeated in their previous ten games against Burnley and have conceded just four goals to the Clarets.
It’s been 44 years since Burnley beat Arsenal on their soil, plus the hosts haven’t lost to a team in the bottom three at home for eleven years.
It won’t be easy for the visitors, however if they are to overcome Arsenal, they should look to do so in the first half, as Arsenal are yet to lead at half time this season.
Following their suspensions against Huddersfield Town, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be returning to the squad.
Emery revealed this week that Dinos Mavropanos is close to retuning to full training, however Hector Bellerin faces the remainder of 2018 on the sidelines due to a calf injury he picked up at St Mary’s.
Since beating Tottenham back at the start of the month, Arsenal’s league form has been questionable with a draw, a last gasp win and a loss in their previous three matches.
It’s been a busy time for Arsenal, juggling Europa League group games with the Premier League and cup fixtures however, the tests don’t end there for the year as a trip to Brighton on Boxing Day to face an in-form Brighton and Hove Albion side. Just three days later comes a trip to Anfield to face table toppers Liverpool to conclude the 2018 fixtures.
With the aim this season being Champions League qualification, it’s essential that Arsenal find their form against Burnley, who currently sit third from bottom in the table.