Burnley manager Sean Dyche is relishing the opportunity to pit his managerial wits against Arsene Wenger as he celebrates 20 years in charge of Arsenal.
The Clarets go into Sunday’s fixture on the back of a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Watford on Monday that propelled them to 13th in the Premier League table.
Dyche professed his admiration for Wenger and the way his Arsenal side play ahead of what he knows will be a stern test of Burnley’s credentials.
“Arsene is one of the top managers, certainly through the Premier League years, his team, their style and manner,” Dyche said.
“As a manager, it’s a strange one why he’s questioned at times. There is a balance to that and fans want actual success, not deemed success by me as style of play, but trophies.
“It’s a big challenge for us but it’s one we want, the players want, I want and the fans want.
“As ever, Arsenal get people questioning them but they look pretty good to me. They’ve got pace and clever movement.”
Dyche hailed the impact of midfielder Steven Defour in powering his favoured 4-4-2 formation, in tandem with fellow new recruit Jeff Hendrick.
“I’ve always made it clear that I like 4-4-2 because I think the best line of defence is to attack, and if you’ve got two centre-forwards – productive ones – it’s a good way of playing. I don’t think 4-4-2 is old fashioned,” he added.
“But you’ve got to be flexible with the group, and I think with Jeff Hendrick and Defour particularly, they’ve played a lot in a three and have a good understanding of how that works; when to press, when to sit in, when to get forward.
“We have to make sure we are competitive at least.