Following a 1-0 victory away from home at Newcastle last week, the gunners will look to build on that performance as they face Burnley at home on Saturday.
Summary of the Newcastle game:
It was a difficult game away from home as we were missing a lot of first team players due to injuries, fitness and security reasons. The first half was pretty even and ended 0-0. In the second half Arsenal began to take a bit more control over the game with a lot quicker passes & movement from the players. Aubameyang finished a Niles cross in the 58th minute to give us the lead and then we managed the game well. My personal man of the match was Chambers. He was a standout performer along with Xhaka who for me also had a good game as a captain. The youngsters Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson also performed well before being substituted for Dani Ceballos and Nico Pepe. Gabriel Martinelli also made his premier league debut as he came on for Mkhitaryan in the 84th minute. Overall it was a good victory and I expect the players and the coach to take a lot of positives from it.
Arsenal vs Burnley:
Burnley started their season with a 3-0 home win against Southampton in GW1 which will give them a lot of confidence coming into this game. This Burnley side is more than capable of scoring goals and I would expect Emery to pick a strong side for this game. As it stands, Arsenal has beaten Burnley every time they have faced them since 2010.
It is important for us to pick up the 3 points in GW2 as we will then go on to facing Liverpool and Tottenham in GW3 & 4 respectively. For this reason, I expect Emery to add a bit of experience to the team that played against Newcastle, and possibly give full debuts to some of our new signings, even though he mentioned in his press conference how happy he was with the performance away at Newcastle.
Some positive news ahead of the game is the return of Mesut Ozil and Kolasinac to training following the incident that kept them away from the squad last week. Emery said in his press conference that he is 100% confident that the two players are mentally ready to play but will decide after Friday’s training session the team he will play on Saturday.
I am confident that we will stick to a 4-2-3-1 as we have done since the start of pre-season and in the last game against Newcastle. In goal I assume Leno to keep his place. He was good last week, and I expect this to be a recurring sight throughout the season. Our back four was really solid last time out and I don’t expect many changes for this game although Unai Emery may give David Luiz his Arsenal debut alongside Sokratis as we do need experience against a striker like Barnes who is known to give defenders a hard time. Though I personally wouldn’t take Chambers out following his performance last week I think it would be a good time to start Luiz especially if we look to prepare for the big games in GW3 & 4. In front of them I expect Lucas Torreira and Guendouzi to play in the midfield two. It was reported that Xhaka was doubtful for the game as he picked up a knock on his lower back in the game against Newcastle. Emery may decide not to risk him as we have hard games coming up. The three players I expect to be just behind our striker are Nicolas Pepe, Joe Willock and Mkhitaryan. I think that Emery will give Pepe his full debut against Burnley. He played 20 minutes against Newcastle and has been adapting well to his new team-mates. Joe Willock has been A-ma-zing since the start of pre-season and continued that form in the Newcastle game. I expect him to keep his place in the team alongside Mkhitaryan. Finally, I think Aubameyang will remain our striker as Lacazette is still recovering from the small injury he picked up in the Emirates Cup final against Lyon in pre-season. If Laca does start, I would expect Auba to replace Mkhi on the Left.
Arsenal 3-1 Burnley.
Send me your score predictions on Twitter @ZeeAFC and we can have debates/conversations about the game. I will also be posting my thoughts on my twitter account during the game so make sure to drop a follow to keep up with everything Arsenal related. Good luck to us & COYG 🙂