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By Bulldog Drummond
Arsenal play Burnley at 3pm on Saturday. In terms of overall performance so far this season this is not exactly top against bottom, but not far from it… (Data from 11v11)
As you will expect from the above, there is quite a difference in the home v away records…
And given just how poor Burnley have been in terms of results it is not surprise that the last six table shows the same sort of gap. Arsenal have picked up 11 points and Burnley have three (gained from their one win of the season).
Arsenal have a goal difference of +9 in the last six games and Burnley have a GD of -10. They have conceded 14 and Arsenal have scored 14. Arsenal have conceded five and they have scored four.
From all that, we might conclude that a 3-0 win to Arsenal would seem likely, although given the paucity of Burnley’s results that would almost seem disappointing.
The fact is that Burnley have been struggling all season, with victories over just Nottingham Forest in the league cup, Salford City in the same competition, and Luton Town in the league. (Salford, in case you don’t keep up with such things, is the club owned by Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.
Since then for Burnley, it has been rather doom and gloom-like with five straight defeats since October 7, if one includes the league cup defeat to Burnley. In the five games it is 14 goals conceded and two scored. (Salford are currently 13th out of 22 in League Two).
For Burnley however is a pretty enormous contrast between this run and last season from 13 November on to the end of the season (a total of 26 games) in which they had just one defeat 1-2 at home to QPR, and finished off with three straight wins scoring six conceding one.
As for Burnley against the Big Seven it has not been good news for Burnley in the league…
|11 Aug 2023||Burnley v Manchester City||L||0-3|
|02 Sep 2023||Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur||L||2-5|
|23 Sep 2023||Burnley v Manchester United||L||0-1|
|30 Sep 2023||Newcastle United v Burnley||L||2-0|
|07 Oct 2023||Burnley v Chelsea||L||1-4|
Indeed the last time they beat one of the big seven was a rather amusing occasion back in February last year when Tottenham H were dismissed 1-0 in the league.
However prior to their relegation to the Championship in 2022 they had not been persistent strugglers. finishing 7th in 2017/18 and thus getting into the Europa League the following season, and they did make it to 10th in 2019/20. They have however had little success in either domestic cup in getting beyond the first couple of rounds, in recent years.
Their problem of course is the size of the ground – the average attendance being normally a few hundred over 20,000. However from 1985 to 19912 they were a fourth-tier club, and so since then have been fighting their way back to the championship and occasionally the top division.
And indeed last season was a particular triumph for them as they gained 101 points, 10 points above second place Sheffield United and 21 points above third place Luton Town.
Plus this season, despite their travails, they must be given credit for their approach to fair play – having picked up 13 fewer yellows than Chelsea, and 10 fewer than Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea are currently top with 35 yellows, Burnley have 22 and Arsenal are still bottom with 16 yellow all season – under half the Chelsea score.
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