Arsene Wenger really is making sure we remember his 20th anniversary isn’t he. Five goals and zero conceded has made it the perfect week ahead of a trip to Turf Moor on Sunday.
Arsenal have managed to bag four wins on the bounce in all competitions and three points against Burnley would set them up nicely going into the international break.
For the first time in a long time I can speak with confidence when saying this is a squad that looks complete, with rotation options being the main reason for success.
You often hear many people say “if it isn’t broke, don’t try and fix it” so we’re expected to see a similar starting XI to the one that brushed off Chelsea last week.
Burnley, albeit in the other end of the table have are coming into the game after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Watford, and three points would send a huge message.
The good news is that it’s much of the same for Wenger this week, who is likely to bring Petr Cech back into action after David Ospina’s mid-week cup stint.
Francis Coquelin is making good progress on his knee injury and is expected to return ahead of schedule, with the home tie with Swansea being his new target.
Still on the sidelines is Olivier Giroud who is continuing to be plagued by a toe injury that won’t shift, giving Lucas Perez another chance to feature this weekend.
The Gunners are looking forward to welcoming Aaron Ramsey back into full training within the next couple of weeks, and a mid-October return is realistic for the Welshman.
Arsenal Absentees: P. Mertesacker (knee), D. Welbeck (knee), A. Ramsey (hamstring), O. Giroud (toe), F. Coquelin (knee), C. Jenkinson (match fitness)
Sean Dyche will have to do it all without his main striker as Andre Gray serves the second helping of his four-match suspension following controversial tweets.
With seven days rest behind them it’s likely to be an exact XI that started the game against Watford last weekend, with the only other absentee being Ashley Barnes.
His omission means Turf Moor will be without many attacking options on the bench, so some extra work ethic will be required from those playing in the middle of the park.
Burnley Absentees: A. Gray (suspended), A. Barnes (hamstring)
One’s To Watch
Arsenal – Theo Walcott
In the form that he’s in, Walcott is probably the first name on the team-sheet and one more performance should confirm his starting spot in England’s World Cup qualifiers.
The forward has four goals in his last three games and when he’s not scoring them, he’s setting them up and I’ll be the first to admit I never expected this.
His relentless attitude to work hard all summer has been infectious with the rest of the squad and we’re finally seeing a Walcott who is fighting for his place.
With Lucas Perez and The Ox both breathing down his neck there’s never a good time for the 27-year-old to take his foot off the pedal and against a strong-minded Burnley side that will be key.
Burnley – Tom Heaton
With Joe Hart’s situation over in Italy and the unexpected change in the managers chair at England, now is as good a time as any for Heaton to show what he can do.
Having played under Gareth Southgate as an Under-21, the goalkeeper is familiar with what the interim boss is looking for, but we need to see it too.
Burnley are currently the lowest scoring team in the league with just four goals, yet have managed to pick up seven points from six games so the man between the sticks has been vital.
For what little threat they offer in attack they more than make up for with their resilience in defence and now Heaton needs to pull off 100% work rate against a side that are scoring goals for fun at the moment.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis
Burnley (4-1-4-1): Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Marney, Gudmondsson, Hendrick, Defour, Boyd, Vokes
Prediction: Burnley 0-2 Arsenal
The Premier League can often throw up some surprises but it should be straightforward for Arsenal to see this one through and edge closer to Manchester City.
Burnley are known for their ability to work hard in all areas of the pitch and they’ll know this is a side that played on Wednesday night so fatigue could go against them.
Arsenal will need to be cautious from the off and if they’ve got any chance of laying down their presence then an early goal should sort things out.
However, Dyche is not a man that will let his side roll over when the going gets tough so this will be a fight through the entire 90 minutes.