EPL Preview: Arsenal v Burnley – Emirates Stadium – May 6
Arsenal’s desire to reward Arsene Wenger with a silverware before the Frenchman leaves the North London club isn’t exactly backed by the kind of form one would expect from a club vying to a mark on the European circuit. Given the club’s disastrous track record on the road, few would give them a chance away in Spain where they clash with a difficult Atletico Madrid in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final clash on Thursday night. As far as the Premier league is concerned, the Gunners will return from their Iberian sojourn to host 7th placed Burnley who are three points behind them on the EPL table.
Even after 2 lackluster draws against Stoke City and Brighton & Hove, Burnley find themselves secure in the Top 8 thanks to Leicester City bungling their way out of contention for a berth in next season’s Europa League with a 0-5 defeat to Crystal Palace.
After a stunning run of 5 victorious games in a six-week phase spanning March to April, Burnley look back to their dour selves losing to Chelsea and following it up with 2 draws against lower bottom-half sides like Stoke and Brighton. The Clarets will depend on their top scorer Ashley Barnes to give them results at the Emirates on Sunday.The 28-year English striker was the lone scorer in the Chelsea and Stoke games. The other Burnley striker, Chris Woods, also will be looked upon by fans to find the back of the net against Arsenal. Both Barnes and Woods have scored 9 goals apiece this season which mirrors the side’s tryst with extremely low-scoring games.
Much in contrast to their pathetic form in away games, Arsenal are lions in their own backyard, the Emirates. The Gunners have won all their previous four Premier league outings at the venue beating Watford, Stoke City, West Ham United with score lines reading like 3-0, 3-0 & 4-1. Ex-Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette has become the Gunners’ top
scorer with 12 goals for the season after his brace against West Ham. Dortmund import Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems to have found his feet, too, helping himself to a tally of six. Even left-back Nacho Monreal with 5 goals could pose a threat to the Clarets’ goal at the Emirates. But the Arsenal attack may not find goals easy to come by as they did against bottom-half opponents. The Burnley side are a parsimonious lot when it comes to conceding goals (32 so far). Only Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have let in less – compare this to the figure of 48 conceded for their weekend rivals.
Arsenal are likely to remain rooted to the 6th spot on the table irrepective of the outcome of Sunday’s game. The odds are very much on them to take 3 points on May 6th.
Arsenal to WIN, Best Odds 4/7 (odds correct 4th May 2018 and subject to change)