We all know the deal by now. Arsenal host Burnley today at the Emirates in the Premier League. The Gunners are beyond desperate for a result to turn around the worst open to a league season — not just Premier League, stretching back well before that, too — in decades. Mikel Arteta’s side is mired in 15th place with only 10 goals scored in 11 league matches. It’s dire.
Leicester hadn't won away at Arsenal since 1973 before this season.— Orbinho (@Orbinho) December 13, 2020
Wolves not since 1979.
Burnley haven't won away at the Gunners since 1974.
Can we avoid an unwanted 1970s themed hat-trick this evening?
Some of Orbinho’s other stats heading into today’s match paint a similarly ominous picture. Only Portsmouth (14 times) have played Arsenal more times in the Premier League without a win, Burnley are 2nd (10 times). The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 14 matches in all competitions against Burnley. Arsenal have won 9 straight home games against Burnley in all competitions. It seems like today’s tilt is one Arsenal should win.
So why do I feel nervous heading into the match?
It’s probably because I have zero confidence in Arsenal’s ability to score a goal in the Premier League right now. Discounting the corner kick routine against Wolves (which isn’t really open play anyways), the Gunners haven’t scored in Premier League open play since October 4th against Sheffield United. That’s 7 league matches!
Arsenal have a better side than recent results suggest. Not should-be Top 4 better, but definitely better than 15th. I continue to hope that the breakthrough and the turnaround is coming, but there is no particular indication that it will come today. There is also no particular indication that it can’t come today. Burnley are not a very good team, and Arsenal are hopefully desperate for a good performance.
Just as the Arsenal training room was starting to clear out, some players decided to smash into each other in training. Reiss Nelson and Sead Kolasinac had a collision sometime earlier this week that forced them out for the Dundalk match and may keep them out today as well. David Luiz’s head cut will be assessed to determine his availability. Thomas Partey is expected to be out until January. Gabriel Martinelli is likely not PL match fit yet, although he is back in full training with the first team. Nicolas Pepe will serve the last of his three-match suspension.
Sean Dyche will likely be without defender Phil Bardsley, midfielder Dale Stephens, and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson. Midfielder Jack Cork is out for today’s match.
Arsenal - Leno, Bellerin, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney, Xhaka, Elneny, Saka, Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Burnley - Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil, Brady, Woo, Rodriguez
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Burnley
WHERE: The Emirates
WHEN: Sunday, December 13th 11:15 AM PT | 2:15 PM ET | 7:15 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN and UNIVERSO. Stream here, TV provider login required.
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