Arsenal take on Burnley at Turf Moor today, a ground at which they’ve had decent success lately. The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 9 matches up north - 4W, 5D. The Clarets have struggled at home recently — winless in their last 12. So of course, both of those trends are going to continue apace, and the Gunners have nothing to worry about, right? /s
Burnley will be without new signing right back Connor Roberts (groin), midfielder Dale Stephens (ankle), and centerback Kevin Long (ankle). Arsenal will be missing Mohamed Elneny (hamstring) and Rob Holding (knee) both of whom are expected back next week. Granit Xhaka will serve the second of his three match ban.
My biggest concern for today’s match is Ben White’s vulnerability in the air matched up against Chris Wood. Burnley are going to fire in the crosses, and the Arsenal backline, especially Takehiro Tomiyasu and Gabriel will need to help out their defensive partner. Mikel Arteta is aware of the potential issue as well, speaking before the match about White’s strengths and weaknesses and saying that he has full confidence in the summer signing.
I’m interested to see how Mikel Arteta deploys his attacking talent. It’s a welcome change to have more high-level skill players than spots in the starting lineup and a good problem to have to pick between them. I think Bukayo Saka is pretty much a lock for the teamsheet, and Nicolas Pépé should get another start after a good, havoc-creating performance against Norwich. That leaves Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Ødegaard, and I think Arteta will pick his new #10 over the summer signing, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if it was the other way around.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Ødegaard, Pépé, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang
Burnley - Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Barnes
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