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It's a little strange being on the kind of run we are currently on at present. One part of you feels as if the next fixture can lead only to victory yet another part of you says that winning every match is highly unlikely. Those are very much the emotions I have today prior to our game against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Burnley may be sat four points off the foot of the table but their home form has been pretty impressive. In the last few weeks alone Burnley have beaten Manchester City and drawn 0-0 with Tottenham both top 6 teams failing to score a goal in the process.

I haven't been watching their games this season but it's reasonable to assume that we will not be given the red carpet treatment when it comes to creating chances around their penalty box, we are going to have to play some of the quick combination football that we were served up last weekend. Even if you attempt to park the bus it is very difficult to stop passing and movement so sharp and crisp and that is very much linked with confidence. Eight wins on the spin has given this squad a lot of confidence and you can tell by the player interviews over the last week that confidence is sky high.

I am most interested in two Arsenal decisions today.

1) Our approach

Against Liverpool we knew full well that Brenda would have his team build up from the back, passing through his three awkward centre backs so snatching the ball off them in their half and attacking their goal at pace could give them plenty of problems. As we all know, it worked a treat. It also made sense for Aaron Ramsey to start on the right so he could use his energy off the ball as well as his well timed runs when we had the ball.

The game this afternoon is very different against a team that are probably quite unlikely to play the same way, especially after Sean Dyche would have seen what went down at the Emirates.

So I'm intrigued to see how we approach today. Will we invite them onto us to allow more space behind them? Will we squeeze up the pitch and play another aggressive game?

2) Fitting in our midfield components

Mentioned above, Ramsey was slotted into the right of attack and it worked perfectly for Liverpool but what now? Do we need Aaron Ramsey on the right of attack for Burnley? especially if the game plan is different. If not then we have to squeeze in Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey and Özil in the middle of the pitch. It's not possible so who moves to the right assuming Alexis is on the left and Giroud is at centre forward.

Squad choices are even tougher now that Wilshere, Diaby, Debuchy and Arteta are back in the squad but the most difficult decisions could be from the players we have had fit for a while now. Ideally we would be allowed an extra man on the pitch, allowing Welbeck to play on the right while having all four of our centre Midfielders in the middle.

I have no idea what Arsène will do, it's highly unlikely that any of our returning players will start but we could see the likes of Wilshere on the bench. We are going to see some real quality players not even in the match day squad. Speaking of which, would we ever leave Theo Walcott out of the squad?

Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:



Given how well we played last weekend, I am going for the same team but Welbeck could easily come in for Ramsey perhaps.

A few weeks ago I thought that Debuchy would come back into the team but I don't see that happening just yet. Hector Bellerin has been fantastic and he is riding the wave of momentum so I expect him to continue at right back. Koscielny was replaced by Gabriel last weekend and I know that Kos was having a fitness test yesterday. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start again but personally I would rest him. Gabriel seems very comfortable alongside both Mertesacker and Koscielny which is great. We'll see.

Manchester United play Manchester City tomorrow so as long as we win the game today we will have opened up a gap between us and one of the Mancs. A draw would be the obvious wanted result.

Fingers crossed that we can do the business today and continue our wonderful run of late.

Don't forget we have a podcast after every game so bookmark the Podcast Page and check back for the new pod.

Match day stuff later before and after the game.

'til then.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more