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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Burnley v Arsenal

Tale of the tape as the Clarets prepare to sign off against Europa League finalists

12 May 2019

Fittingly, the Clarets end their season against an Arsenal side which has reached the final of the Europa League.

Burnley’s opening game came in the same competition at the end of July and the marathon concludes with Sean Dyche’s side in with a chance of finishing 14th in the Premier League table.

The primary objective of securing top-flight status was achieved a fortnight ago but a first Premier League win over the Gunners, coupled with defeat for Newcastle at Fulham, would see the Clarets climb a place in the table.

That’s the aim for Dyche, although should his side maintain their two-point advantage over Southampton – who finish at home to Fulham – 15th place would still be enough for Burnley to claim their second highest finish of the Premier League era.

Dyche pre-Chelsea presser 2019.JPG

“It’s been a strange kind of season, ups and downs and ins and outs,” said the Burnley boss.

“A top side, of course, in Arsenal visiting Turf Moor and I think it would be great to finish on a good note, that being a win.

“I want the team to perform, as a minimum, but if you can get the win it’s good for all, for the mentality of the team after a strangely successful season, and then good because you’re taking on one of the top sides, which is good for the mentality of the fans, as well.”

Arsenal will play the 57th game of their season with another to go – the Europa League final against Chelsea in Baku on 29 May.

Beating their London rivals remains the only path open to next season’s Champions League, with Unai Emery’s side having missed out on a top-four finish in the Premier League following a disappointing end to their domestic campaign.

Team news

The Clarets will have just long-term absentees Aaron Lennon and Steven Defour not on duty.

Lennon is back in full training but lacking match fitness, while Defour remains on course for a return in pre-season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang May 2019.jpg

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is two goals behind Liverpool's Mo Salah in the race for the Premier League's golden boot

Arsenal have midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles available after suspension.

But Aaron Ramsey, Denis Suarez, Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding are all still out – meaning no farewell for Ramsey and Welbeck who are both leaving at the end of the season.

Boss Unai Emery may rest several players with the Europa League final in mind, with fourth place in the Premier League now beyond his side.

Form guide

The Clarets will be looking to end the season with a first win in four games, having secured their Premier League safety a fortnight ago.

Sean Dyche’s side could finish with three wins out of four at Turf Moor after beating Wolves and Cardiff prior to a 1-0 defeat to title-chasing Manchester City last time out.

Arsenal secured their place in the Europa League final in mid-week with a 4-2 semi-final, second-leg win in Valencia.

Their away from in the Premier League has not been as impressive with just two wins on the road since Christmas.

The Gunners have lost eight times on their travels and kept just one clean sheet in the Premier League away from home.

Unai Emery April 2019.jpg

And their top-four hopes have vanished – bar an unlikely avalanche of goals and a heavy defeat for Tottenham at home to Everton – on the back of a run of just one win in five games.

Unai Emery's side won 3-1 in the reverse fixture just before Christmas, but were pushed all the way before settling it with a late Alex Iwobi goal.

Opposition camp

Arsenal boss Unai Emery: "I am going to decide with the players who are hungry and in good physical condition to play this match.

"We struggled a lot here against Burnley. I remember this match and I watched it two weeks ago when they drew with Chelsea. It was a very tough match against Chelsea and I'm expecting the same on Sunday.

"We know it's going to be a difficult match with long balls, second actions and set-pieces, so we need to defend well in these situations."

Match stats

The Clarets are looking to win a Premier League game against Arsenal for the first time.

Captain Tom Heaton is one appearance away from 200 for Burnley.

Ben Mee is one of only three outfield players to have played every minute in the Premier League this season. Wolves defender Conor Coady and Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic are the others.

Peter Crouch has scored on the final day of six Premier League seasons and will make it three in a row if he does so on Sunday.


Mike Dean


Sunday 3pm

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