Giroud’s reinstatement will help see Burnley off

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Jan 20th, 2017
0 Comments

Match Preview: Arsenal vs. Burnley – Premier League – 22.01.2017

arsenal players celebrate win over burnley with a late laurent koscielny goal

Gaining some momentum is of vital importance to the Gunners with the Chelsea match looming in early February. A solid win away to Swansea will have blown away a few cobwebs and now Arsenal will like themselves at home to Burnley. It took a fortuitous late winner from Laurent Koscielny to take all three points in October however I do not expect the same difficulties at the Emirates.

Turf Moor, if not a fortress, is at least a bunker and a place where many well-equipped armies have struggled over the years. Burnley will doubtless look to frustrate the boys in red and white with a committed defensive display, and perhaps may even fancy backing themselves on LeoVegassport to do a Middlesbrough. However, I cannot see Arsenal leaving this match without having scored. Whether they will do so without conceding remains to be seen.

Sean Dyche will, in all likelihood, set up with a five man midfield and pump balls to a pacey lone-front man in hope of snatching a goal or two. How such teams play against Arsenal is utterly predictable and therein lies my only fear for this match.

Arsenal is well-wersed in how these teams set up against us yet often look shocked by the tactics. They have developed a worrying habit of not turning up in the first 20 minutes or so of matches this season. The atmosphere in the crowd is somewhat capricious at the moment and the fear is Arsenal make it so difficult for themselves that the crowd feels so dejected it becomes as though we’re not playing at home at all. If that happens the team can only blame themselves.

More cheerily though, I think Giroud’s recent place-winning-form will prove beneficial as he creates advantageous space for Alexis and Iwobi to exploit. His goal-scoring exploits have taken the headlines but it is his positioning, and his link play, that has caught my eye. Giroud is the perfect foil for Ramsey in midfield and Aaron’s inclusion alongside Granit Xhaka has seen an upturn in Arsenal’s chance creation and goal-scoring statistics.

Arsenal’s success in this match rests on how well they start the game. Given the confidence to defend with relish by a lacklustre Gunners’ performance in the opening quarter, Burnley will sit back and be happy to take a point from Arsenal. It is when the opposition has given up trying to score at the Emirates that Arsenal suffers most. I think we’ll be okay though, especially with Giroud flying and keen to retain his place.

Predicted Line-up

Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey; Iwobi, Özil, Alexis, Giroud.

I expect to see substitute appearances from Oxlade-Chamberlain and Welbeck.

Match Quote

“We’re going through a moment of truth now – January until May is five months to go. You want ideally all your players with big experience back in your squad.” – Arsène Wenger

Last 3 Meetings

  • Burnley 0-1 Arsenal (02.10.2016)
  • Arsenal 2-1 Burnley (30.01.2016)
  • Burnley 0-1 Arsenal (11.04.2015)

Form Guide

Arsenal
WWDWW

Burnley
WWDLW

Opposition watch

The Clarets have scored just three goals away from home this season and picked up a solitary point. Despite such horrendous form away from home they sit in 10th place such is the difference between them away and at Turf Moor. It would be fair to assume Burnley’s plan of attack will be to defend whilst perhaps relying on Andre Gray’s pace to relieve some pressure every now and then as he chases down a long ball.

Dean Marney and Ashley Barnes, who both missed the midweek FA Cup replay victory with minor injuries, are expected to be available alongside Arfield and Berg Gudmundsson.

Factfile

  • Arsenal are unbeaten against Burnley in the Premier League (W4, D1) and are looking for a fifth consecutive league win over the Clarets.
  • Burnley have not scored in any of their last three league meetings with Arsenal.
  • Arsenal have won their last four Premier League home games.
  • Burnley have lost their last five away matches in the league.
  • The Gunners have scored in their last 12 league games, the best current run in the top flight.
  • The Clarets have scored just three away goals in the top flight this season – every other club has scored at least twice that total.
  • Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his last nine starts in all competitions, amassing 11 goals in total.
  • Burnley have never won a Premier League match in London (D2, L12). Their last top-flight win in the capital came in January 1975, when they won 1-0 at QPR.
  • Alexis Sanchez has scored or set up 21 goals this season, more than any other Premier League player.

Courtesy of Opta & BBC Sport.

Prediction

4-0 to Arsenal. I think we’ll win big again with a strong showing from our front three.

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About "" - 473 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

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