This afternoon Arsène Wenger will be in charge of his 1,130th game at Arsenal, it’s quite amazing when you think about it. We’ve all been looking back over his twenty years rather fondly, well most of us anyway but you can be sure that Arsène only has thoughts for this match, it’s something he has said a number of times now, all about the next game.
After the Burnley game we have another round of international matches to digest, it’s even worse that it has come around when we are playing so well. Anyway I suspect we will see another unchanged line up for this reason, unless of course someone has a knock. There has been talk of Mesut Özil possibly missing the game as he did not take part in training but that may well be a case of protecting our star asset, I don’t know, I hope that's the case.
Even though we have the strongest squad we have had in a while, the idea of removing one of our parts frightens me a little. This 11 needs to be left to do it’s funky thing, no need to poke and move anything right now, as performances have been improving game by game and I’d be well up for seeing another improved performance this afternoon, Which may well be pushing my luck but worth asking I reckon.
Petr Cech will resume his Premier League duties in between the sticks, he will be behind a defence that has done very well in recent weeks but they will face a very different challenge today I reckon. I haven’t seen much (any) of Burnley this season and I may well be doing them a disservice here but I reckon we will see somewhat of a physical approach from Sean Dyche’s side. I am guessing that they will want to get as many set pieces around our penalty area as possible and try and get Sam Vokes jumping against the likes of Hector Bellerin.
Mean Lean’s Predicted Line Up:
I’ve just watched the highlights of their 2-0 victory against Liverpool, quite amazing really. Vokes scored a good goal two minutes into the game then Liverpool dominated the match. One of the highest possession stats and a crazy amount of shots on the Burnley goal but they could not score the goal.
Gray who is suspended for being an ignorant idiot, scored a nice goal on the break. Liverpool then continued to have all the ball and a host of shots but smashed the ball over the bar nearly every time. I don’t want to laugh too much until we’ve finished our game. Oh and another thing, if you want Arsenal to take a load of long range shots and not ‘walk the ball into the net’ which really means creating better chances, just feast your eyes on that game and Mr Philippe Coutinho in particular.
Burnley do not concede many goals at home but they have not been perfect at home by any means. They have lost to Swansea and have drawn to Hull City in front of their fans. In fact their form from the start both home and away has been pretty up and down.
I’m feeling pretty confident though, that is what good performances and victories do to you and I guess that is the case with the players also.
If we move the ball as quickly as we have been and our front players continue to move the way they have then I’m confident we will create chances. Hopefully Alexis saved his shooting boots for this afternoon. He wasn’t too happy with himself after the Basel game so I’m sure he will want to correct that today, go for it Alexis, knock yourself out (not literally of course)
It would be nice to get ourselves in a position where we can make second half substitutions, bringing on the likes of Lucas and Elneny to rest up some legs.
But I’m not being greedy, I’ll take any win first and foremost, preferably one in which we play some more delicious and entertaining footy, because that’s why we’re here right?
Anyway, I’ve struggled with having to wait this long for another game since Basel and I know it was only a few days ago. The way we are playing, I want to watch us every day. Not sure that would be great for our injury record mind.
Up the Arsenal.
As usual (apart from post Basel) there will be the post match Q&A so if you would like to answer some questions on the game via email then give me a shout.