After seven successive league victories, two words are buzzing around North London, albeit in hushed tones and low voices. Those words are “title race”.
If Arsenal emerge from Turf Moor victorious they will be, until at least the following afternoon, within four points of the pacesetters. The Gunners may still not mount a serious challenge, but the league’s in-form side are playing with verve that they have not previously shown this season and confidence that could stretch into next.
Despite only claiming one win in their last ten, the same could be said of their hosts. There is a self-assuredness about Burnley that is not so apparent in any of their relegation-threatened rivals. It is undoubtedly emanating from manager Sean Dyche, who has set about his attempt to keep the club’s head above water without fuss or grumble, despite having the division’s strictest budget.
His side have the ability to upset the division’s bigger names, as seen in their recent victory over Manchester City and their frustration of Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. Their guests on Saturday may arrive hoping to extend their remarkable winning run, but it is worth noting that, with 31 games played, Arsene Wenger’s side have exactly the same record as they did last season. That year, in their 32nd fixture, they drew.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5:30pm
Arsenal (Sanchez 2, Chambers) 3-0 Burnley, Premier League, November 2014
Arsenal (Fabregas, Walcott, Arshavin) 3-1 Burnley (Nugent), Premier League, March 2010
Burnley (Alexander) 1-1 Arsenal (Fabregas), Premier League, December 2009
This match marks the 100th time these two clubs have met. Arsenal have 45 wins to Burnley's 33, with 21 draws.
Half of Burnley's points have come against clubs who are currently in the league’s top ten.
Arsenal, however, have not lost against any side currently in the bottom half of the table.
The Gunners are currently on their best run of form since a nine-match streak between January and March 2004, which came during their unbeaten title-winning campaign.
Mesut Ozil has scored three goals and assisted four in his last eight league games.
Burnley to win: 6.50
Arsenal to win: 1.55
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 5.30pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pmReuse content