Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Arsenal vs Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday; kick-off 2pm.
Arsenal will be without two key midfielders as they welcome Burnley to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Both Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are suspended for the game with the pair sent off in either leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s involvement remains up in the air while Cedric Soares (hip), Bernd Leno (back) and Calum Chambers (neck) all missed the second leg with Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe still at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Burnley still face uncertainty over which players might be available for the match, having not played since the FA Cup defeat to huddersfield on January 8 following a Covid-19 outbreak and with only 16 players taking part in training on Friday.
Several have returned in the past 48 hours but their fitness must be assessed after a spell out, with Eric Pieters, Dale Stephens and Johann Berg Gudmundsson only training for the first time on Friday.
Ashley Barnes remains out with injury, Charlie Taylor is doubtful with an injury problem and though Sean Dyche said Matej Vydra is available, the striker is dealing with a hernia problem which may require surgery.
How to follow
Follow Arsenal vs Burnley in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after full-time.
Last time out…
If Ben White, Gabriel and Aaron Ramsdale are fit to play, I’m backing Arsenal to win without conceding. It’s a simple strategy but one that has led to plenty of profit this season.
Since that axis was formed, Arsenal have not conceded a goal before the 38th minute in 18 fixtures. It’s providing Mikel Arteta with a fantastic platform to work from and results are going their way. The home defeat to Man City was their first loss in 12 home games in all competitions and Arteta’s boys certainly deserved more than they got.
Arsenal’s record under Arteta against relegation-threatened teams also should instil plenty of confidence in a comfortable win without conceding. The Gunners beat all the relegated teams away from home without conceding last season to an aggregate score of 8-0 and have already seen off Burnley, Newcastle, Watford and Norwich (twice) while keeping clean sheets this season. Some will argue Burnley will be fresher than the Gunners but such is the lack of firepower within Sean Dyche’s ranks – Maxwell Cornet is away at AFCON and Chris wood has been sold – Arsenal probably won’t need to be at maximum capacity to land the spoils.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0
BETTING ANGLE: Arsenal to win to nil (6/5 with Sky Bet)
- Arsenal have lost just one of their last 18 league games against Burnley (W12 D5), though it did come in this exact fixture last season (0-1 thanks to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang own goal).
- Burnley are looking to win consecutive away league games against Arsenal for just the third time, previously doing so in December 1950 and December 1960.
- Burnley haven’t scored more than once in any of their last 17 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions, since a 2-0 League Cup victory in December 2008. Only three teams have had longer runs without scoring more than one goal against the Gunners – Manchester City (25 between 1991 and 2008), Sheffield United (21, ongoing since 1992), and Wolves (20 between 1980 and 2018).
- Burnley have won five of their last nine Premier League games in London (D1 L3), having won just three of their first 30 visits to the capital in the competition (D4 L23).
- This is Arsenal’s first league game since their 2-1 home loss to Manchester City on New Year’s Day. The Gunners haven’t lost their first two league games to a calendar year since 2012, while they’ve not lost their first two home league games in a year since 1962.
- Burnley are winless in their last 11 Premier League away games, drawing four and losing seven. They’ve lost their last three on the road in the competition, last losing more consecutively between November 2016 and February 2017 (7).
- No side has conceded the first goal in fewer Premier League games than Arsenal this season (4). However, the Gunners are the only side to have lost 100% of their Premier League games when conceding first this term.
- Burnley’s last two away league games have ended in 3-1 defeats (vs Leeds and Manchester United) – they’ve not conceded 3+ goals in three consecutive away games since October 2016.
- Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has been directly involved in a goal in each of his last five Premier League games, scoring four and assisting two in these matches. If he registers a goal or assist in this match, he’d be the youngest to do so in six consecutive appearances in the competition’s history (20 years 140 days).
- Martin Odegaard has been involved in six goals in his last seven Premier League appearances for Arsenal (3 goals, 3 assists), two more than he had in his first 25 games in the competition (2 goals, 2 assists).
Premier League Preview: Conte’s Spurs to crack Chelsea code? Man Utd momentum? Watford-Norwich six-pointer
The Essential Football Podcast returns as host Alice Piper is joined by Charlotte Marsh and Ben Grounds to preview another captivating round of Premier League games which could have ramifications at both ends of the table.
PART ONE | After their dramatic, late victory at Leicester, the panel assess whether Antonio Conte’s Tottenham can crack the Stamford Bridge code and haul Chelsea back into the wide open race for the top four
PART TWO | Cristiano Ronaldo’s tantrum stole the headlines but having bounced back at Brentford have Ralf Rangnick and Man Utd built enough momentum to capitalise on the West Ham fragilities exposed by Leeds and boost their top-four chances? Plus: with an 11-point lead at the summit, can champions Man City afford to take their foot of the gas at Southampton?
PART THREE | An archetypal relegation six-pointer kicks off the Premier League weekend as Watford host Norwich on Friday – but which club is best placed to seize the initiative? Plus: tasked with steadying the ship for the second time in three years, can Duncan Ferguson galvanise everton ahead of the visit of Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa?