Relegation-threatened Burnley are in a difficult position ahead of the visit of red-hot Arsenal, but the Clarets will have something to build on following strong home displays against Man City and Spurs. Having climbed to second in the Premier League standings, the Gunners are now looking to make it eight league victories on the bounce.
Not too many people gave Burnley any chance of avoiding the drop before the season started, but the Clarets have managed to show they are not exactly out of place in arguably Europe’s strongest league competition. Sean Dyche’s charges have been sitting in the relegation zone for a while now, but seeing as they are two points adrift of safety with seven games to go, they still stand a decent chance of surviving the Premier League campaign. And while team’s away form is a definite cause for concern, Burnley have seriously raised their home form, defeating holders Manchester City before holding Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw. However, they were somewhat fortunate to face the two sides when they were far from the desired form and that is definitely not going to be the case when Arsenal arrive at Turf Moor, with the Gunners playing the best football of the season. The hosts will also be under a lot of pressure due to their precarious league position and while the Clarets can be expected to put up a real fight, I seriously doubt they have what it takes to match in-form Arsenal. The good news is there are no major injury worries for Sean Dyche, although Matt Taylor is doubtful through a calf problem.
Arsene Wenger was forced to endure a lot of stick for team’s under-par showings in the first part of the season, but it is the Frenchman who is having the last laugh with his charges absolutely unstoppable over the last couple of months. It would appear as though that things fell into place when the likes of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud returned from injury, while the incredible form of Santi Cazorla has a lot to do with the fact he is finally played through the middle. Even the back line, which has often been the weakest part of the team, is playing well at the moment and no doubt that the Gunners deserve their current league position. There probably will not be enough time to catch leaders Chelsea, but a second-place finish would be considered a success at the Emirates, while Arsenal also have a great chance to defend the FA Cup trophy. Arsene Wenger’s men proved their worth by hammering top 4 rivals Liverpool last time out and I just don’t think their seven-match winning streak is going to end at Turf Moor. There are some doubts over the fitness of Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be back for another two weeks at least.
Burnley showed a great deal of improvement to take four points from matches against Man City and Spurs, but Arsenal is likely to prove too much for them at the moment. The Gunners do look unstoppable and eighth successive Premier League win appears on the horizon.
Verdict: Away win Arsenal (2)
Best Odds: 4/7
Bookmaker: William Hill