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By Bulldog Drummond
Burnley’s possession statistic is as we have noted surprisingly high for such a lowly team in the league, being just over 50%, compared, say, to Crystal Palace who have 11 more points, and scored two more goals than Burnley and yet have a possession rate almost nine percent lower.
In terms of possession, Arsenal are at over 60% and in second place to Manchester City. But with 10.4 shots per game Burnley have only Sheffield United below them in the shots per game category. Arsenal on average get in four more shots per game. So once again we see possession is not everything in any regard.
But Burnley are 10th in the possession table above the likes of Brentford who are 11 places higher in the league – thus proving once again that possession might be nine-tenths of the law, but doesn’t have quite so much to do with winning football matches.
If they do play a possession game, Arsenal are likely to catch them on the break, with Martinelli in particular running rings around them.
Bukayo Saka it is suggested, should be fit to play but Takehiro Tomiyasu, Eddie Nketiah and Martin Odegaard are uncertain. Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus, Emile Smith Rowe and Jurrien Timber are certainly unavailable.
Of all these players only Eddie Nketiah reaches a 75% possibility of being available according to Premier League injuries. They put Odegaard, Saka and Tomiyasu on 50%.
That puts Arsenal on eight injuries in the table. Only Brentford with nine, Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur with 10, and Newcastle with 11, have more injuries. Bottom of the table, as they seemingly always are, is West Ham with one injury.
Mind you they have conceded twice as many goals as Arsenal, so that might explain it – they just step aside while the opposition move forward, for fear of being hurt.
Burnley are on five absences with Obafemi, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Lyle Foster, Aaron Ramsey all injured and Josh Cullen out with five yellow cards.
Up next: the referee, the fouls and the result.
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