Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Burnley v Arsenal: Wenger up for Turf Moor battle

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Apr 2015

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Arsene Wenger knows in-form Arsenal must be ready to roll up their sleeves and win the battle when they travel to Premier League strugglers Burnley on Saturday.

Seven consecutive top-flight victories have resulted in Arsenal moving up to second in the table with seven games remaining.

Wenger’s side are seven points behind Chelsea, who also have a game in hand, and it would appear unlikely their London rivals will be denied a first Premier League title for five years.

Arsenal have not given up hope, though, and they will be expected to secure all three points at Turf Moor this weekend to complete a league double over Burnley following their 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium in November.

A shock 1-0 victory over champions Manchester City last month was second-bottom Burnley’s only win in their last 10 league matches, but Wenger is not expecting an easy ride against Sean Dyche’s men.

He said: “Burnley are quite efficient at home, therefore we have to make sure we produce the expected performance.

“You have to be at their level of physical performance and then we want to produce our level of technical performance.”

With Chelsea not in action until they make the short trip to QPR on Sunday, victory in Lancashire would leave Arsenal only four points behind Jose Mourinho’s side.

And Wenger is urging his side to maintain their outstanding form and assert more pressure on the leaders.

He added: “We have still many challenges until the end of the season and of course it’s interesting that we are in good form and it’s interesting that we are in a good team dynamic. 

“Hopefully we can maintain that until the end of the season and then we will see where we stand. We look behind us, people are chasing us, in front of us is quite a good distance with Chelsea but we work very hard to reduce that.”

Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Debuchy, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta are all back in contention after recovery from injuries, while Laurent Koscielny (thigh) and Wojciech Szczesny (rib) face fitness tests.

England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) is at least a fortnight away from returning.

Burnley will be hoping Matt Taylor (Achilles) is available to return as they attempt to build on a goalless draw with Tottenham last weekend by ending Arsenal’s rich vein of form.

Dyche’s side were the only team in the bottom three not to win last weekend in what is proving to be an intriguing battle to avoid the drop.

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