Relegation-threatened Burnley face a daunting challenge today (Saturday) when they entertain an in-form Arsenal at Turf Moor.
The Clarets are second from bottom on 26 points from 31 matches, but have shown real fight in recent weeks as they battle to avoid the drop.
Sean Dyche’s side shocked defending Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 at home on Mar. 14, and although they lost 2-0 at Southampton seven days later they returned to league action after the international break with a hard-fought goalless draw against Tottenham at Turf Moor last weekend.
Burnley midfielder David Jones was delighted with the draw against Spurs and believes the Clarets can get a good result against Arsenal.
“It probably wasn’t one of the prettiest football games to watch for the neutral in terms of chances and goals, obviously,” Jones admitted to his club’s website. “But I think we were well worth our point and we probably edged the balance of play, I would say.
“Everybody knows what they’re doing, we work hard on our shape and our mentality shows that we can be a match for anyone here at Turf Moor. Arsenal have been playing well, but we’ve faced almost everyone at home and we’ll just work hard, give it a roll and see where it takes us.”
The Gunners are on a hot streak and now occupy second place in the table on 63 points from 31 games, having won their last seven top-flight matches.
The north Londoners beat Champion League hopefuls Liverpool 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, with Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud all finding the back of the net.
Despite being poles apart in the standings, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is expecting a hard match against Burnley.
“Burnley is a tough test for everybody,” Wenger told his club’s website. “You shouldn’t look at the table because they started slowly but recently they have played very well against all the big teams in the league.
“Of course, you have to be at their level of physical performance, because they will be there. On the rest, you want to produce the quality of performance that is expected from us on the technical side. You have first to fight with them physically, that’s for sure.”
Burnley are hopeful that Ross Wallace (knock), Steven Reid (calf) and Matt Taylor (Achilles) could all feature at some stage against the Gunners.
Arsenal will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), but Abou Diaby (calf), Mikel Arteta (ankle) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) are all back in contention.
It took Arsenal 70 minutes to find a breakthrough against Burnley at the Emirates in November, but just two minutes after Sanchez opened the scoring Calum Chambers doubled the lead. Sanchez got his brace in stoppage time in a 3-0 Gunners win. Arsenal outshot Burnley 31-6 and held 63% of the ball in the match.
Burnley defenders need to be alert until the final whistle as the Gunners have scored eight times in the 90th minute or later this season, by far most in the Premier League.
The Clarets have conceded 49 goals in the Premier League this season. Only QPR – with 58 – have let in more.
The Gunners have scored 62 goals and are just one shy of Chelsea and Man City for most in the league this season. They’ve been shut out only once in their last 24 PL matches, a 2-0 defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day.
Source: ScoreMobile FC