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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Arsenal v Burnley

Big-game guide as the Clarets head for the Emirates Stadium

16 August 2019

The Clarets hit the road for their opening away game of the campaign with another first in their sights.

Burnley are yet to take a point from the Emirates Stadium in five previous visits and haven’t beaten Arsenal in the top-flight since Peter Noble scored the only goal of the game at Highbury 45 years ago next month.

But Sean Dyche’s side has come close to holding the Gunners both home and away – only to be denied by disputed late goals on three different occasions.

Dyche pre-Arsenal away.JPG

And having seen his side launch the season in perfect style with a 3-0 victory over Southampton last weekend, Dyche hopes the balance is about to be redressed against an Unai Emery side that has splashed the cash this summer and also made a winning start.

“They are a top side, but we’ve shown before we can take points off the top sides,” said the Burnley boss – who has master-minded point-winning performances against every Premier League club bard Arsenal during his Turf Moor reign.

“We’ve had decent performances against Arsenal and probably a couple of harsh decisions have gone against us.

“You need the rub of the green and might need a decision. It might be a bit more measured with VAR (Video Assistant Referee) and you certainly won’t have had the decisions we have had go against us, but when it comes down to it you have to perform.

“We have to look to build on last week, and it’s always about performances with me, if you keep putting performances in, they will pay you back.

“The players have come back clear-minded and with a more powerful edge to their fitness. It’s early yet, but it’s nice to at least see that work get you off to a good start.”

New signings

The Gunners broke their transfer record to sign winger Nicolas Pepe from French outfit Lille for a reported £72m during the summer transfer window.

Luiz Arsenal warm-up.jpg

They strengthened their defensive options by bringing in Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney for £25m and centre-back David Luiz (above) from London rivals Chelsea for £8m.

Teenager William Saliba was also recruited from Saine Etienne but loaned back to the French club for the season.

Moving in on loan was Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, with winger Alex Iwobi leading the departures with his reported £28m move to Everton.

Team news

Charlie Taylor returns to the Clarets’ squad after another week’s training to top-up his fitness following a spell out during pre-season.

But Burnley will again be without Robbie Brady, while Danny Drinkwater isn’t yet ready to make the first appearance of his loan spell.


New Arsenal signing Tierney is not yet close to a debut, with a groin injury set to keep him sidelined until October.

Fellow full-back Hector Bellerin is also out, although centre-back Rob Holding is back in training following a knee injury.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka faces a fitness test after suffering bruising to his back and leg in last Sunday’s 1-0 win at Newcastle United.

Pepe and Ceballos could be pushing for debuts after coming off the bench at St James’ Park, while Luiz may also be involved.

Midfielder Mesut Ozil and defender Sead Kolasinac missed the trip to Tyneside for security reasons and both have returned to training, although Ozil looks an unlikely starter.

However, striker Alexandre Lacazette may earn a start after also figuring among the substitutes at Newcastle following a knock in pre-season.

Form guide

The Clarets travel away for the first time this season on the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Southampton at Turf Moor on the opening day.

Arsenal started their season with a 1-0 win at Newcastle United last Sunday thanks to a goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Aubameyang goal Newcastle.jpg

The Gunners’ pre-season campaign took them to the United States and to Spain, where they signed off with a 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

Opposition camp

Arsenal manager Unai Emery: “It's going to be difficult this year, starting at home against Burnley.

“They're in a very good moment. They won 3-0 (last week) and had an amazing pre-season.

“They are a strong team with a clear structure. Last year against us they played 3-5-2 and changed, I think they will play 4-4-2.

Unai Emery August 2019.jpg

“They are very clear, very efficient with playing with that structure. Also, they have players who play very well. They are going to demand a lot of us defensively, with their long balls especially.

“They are a team with a good coach, experienced here in England, and in the Premier League. They are playing and working in a good way.

“Saturday, we need all the best for us, individually and collectively.”

Match stats

Johann Berg Gudmundsson is in line to make his 100th appearance for the Clarets.

Burnley could win their opening two top-flight matches in a season for the first time since 1973.

The Clarets are lookng to halt a run of defeats in nine successive league meetings - the longest losing streak in their top-flight history against a particular opponent.

Arsenal are looking to begin a league campaign with two straight wins for the first time since 2009-10.

The Gunners have lost their opening home league match of the season in five of the past eight seasons.

Gudmundsson cele.jpg


Mike Dean


Chris Kavanagh


Saturday 12.30 pm (live on BT Sport)

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