Arsenal began their season on the road, and with a 1-0 win over a stubborn Newcastle side.
Now it’s time for our season to begin at The Emirates, as we welcome Burnley to our home.
The Clarets enjoyed a handsome win in their first game of the season, and will be stiff opponents for us as we look to continue our 100% record – and a pretty damn impressive home record over Burnley.
The Clarets last enjoyed a win over Arsenal in the league way back in 1974, that amounts to 45 years. Sean Dyche seems to have recruited well though, and last season’s weak showing will be consigned to the past should they earn a win at The Emirates.
That will require a stern defence, which is usually their strong suit. They will turn up and pack the midfield and attempt to strangle the game and their grasp of the more cynical ways of football is a strong one – remember Ashley Barnes and Sokratis last season?
Sean Dyche bemoaned many calls last season by the ref, and with Mike Dean blowing the whistle for this one, the capacity for this game to be a difficult one is full.
Who can Unai Emery call on to grab the points?
Granit Xhaka will be assessed before the game, but he has taken part in full training and is looking to be available for selection. If not, then Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Dani Ceballos and Jo Willock are all available.
In defence, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin are inching nearer to fitness, but October is likely to be their return date. Rob Holding is a little nearer, but he is still unavailable for selection.
It will be our attack that will be most likely to change after last week. With both Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette chomping at the bit to play, and Mesut Ozil now back, we could have both Reiss Nelson and Mkhitaryan on the bench.
One to Watch
The chief instigator for the Clarets, he will be more than a handful for our defence. He is aerially strong, more than adept at getting his marker to lose their concentration with his practicing of the dark arts, and has a decent shot on him. Barnes will be central to Burnley’s best moves.
How this could go
Burnley held things tight against Saints in their win last week, and it wasn’t until the second half that they broke the deadlock. It showed that the resilience that they were famed for in the season previous to last is on the return.
We will have to break through two layers of players if we are to win this game. Dyche will have his side lined up to frustrate and if no early breakthrough is made, the time will tick on and the tactics will become more effective.
The onus will be on us to attack, but unless we manage to lure the Clarets out from their trenches, the pace we have will be useless as there will be so many defenders to thwart us.
So, our playmakers will be crucial. That could mean a massive responsibility on Dani Ceballos. With Ozil back to training but sick in midweek according to Emery, the likelihood is that the German will miss the game or at the very least, not start. Ceballos meanwhile, is known for his exquisite touch and decent vision. He could be the man that spots a run and slips them through.
Three points on offer and this is a game we should definitely win, but Burnley will be licking their lips at making this game a broken one, full of stoppages and broken rhythm.
Come on Arsenal!
Predicted Lineup – Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Chambers, Monreal, Torreira, Guendouzi, Aubameyang, Willock, Pepe, Lacazette
Predicted Scoreline – 3-1 to The Arsenal