After easing past a struggling Sunderland in the third round of the Cup a few weeks ago, Arsenal turn their attention to Championship title-contending Burnley tomorrow. Burnley sit third in that competition right now, five points behind first placed Hull, and look a certainty to at the very least make the play-off, if not claim one of the two automatic promotion places.
Burnley are coming off a 4-1 win over Derby County at the weekend in which a Derby County own goal and two penalties accounted for 75% of Burnley's goals, but they are the highest scoring team in the Championship with 46 goals from 28 games, so scoring isn't a huge problem for them. Nor, from the looks of it, is defending - their 25 GA and resulting 21 GD are both third-best in the league.
So, they'll be a tricky opponent for sure, particularly in light of the lineup Arsene Wenger is reportedly going to go with tomorrow, which includes the debut of Mohamed Elneny, a Calum Chambers appearance, the probable return (even just as a sub) of Francis Coquelin, and maybe, just maybe, a David Ospina sighting. Squad rotation? From Wenger? Sure why not? In all seriousness, though, this is a good thing - spring is going to be tough, and Arsenal are still fighting for a Premier League title, so any chance to rest the first choice side is a great thing, even if in Per's case it's not a voluntary rest.
I would not be arrogant enough to say that Arsenal's scrubs-and-subs lineup will automatically have enough to beat Burnley - as mentioned, they're a tough team on both sides of the ball - but this is yet another chance for some of those fringe players to make their mark and help Arsenal advance to the next round of the Cup. I have faith that most of them can make that leap, and I have faith that the back line can help Ospina look like he can, even if he can't. SICK OSPINA BURN
Arsenal vs. Burnley
FA Cup, fourth round
Emirates Stadium, London
Saturday, January 30, 2016
7AM PT/10AM ET/3PM BT
HOW (to watch):
US: Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes