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Burnley v Arsenal: the injuries, and an encouraging run of results

Text By Bulldog Drummond

Photo by Trappedinburnley

Well, yes my headline is wrong.  Not “injuries” but “injury”. 

It is Emile Smith Rowe.  He has an injury which is either groin, or hip or pelvic depending on who is talking. 

The official line on 3 March was that “Emile had a scan yesterday, it doesn’t look a significant injury but he was in discomfort.”  He has a potential return of tomorrow, but he is currently being assessed.

And that is it.

Burnley have four injuries but for three of these, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady and Jack Cork will have a late fitness test.  The only long term injury is Ashley Barnes.

Top of  the injury tree are

  • Crystal Palace: 9
  • Newcastle United: 8
  • Sheffield United: 8
  • Everton: 7
  • Leicester City: 7
  • Manchester United: 7

Looking at Arsenal and Burnley the big difference comes in goalscoring; Arsenal have 34 goals for and 27 against (+7 overall) while Burnley have 19 scored and 35 conceded (-16 overall).  A goal difference of 23 in Arsenal’s favour.

Burnley had a little run of wins in mid-January but from the end of January onwards it has been pretty gloomy with four defeats, four draws and just one win, a 0-3 away win over Crystal Palace.   During the course of these nine games Burnley have scored six goals, of which (obviously) half were scored in that one game against Palace.  They have conceded 13 during this run.

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However we should be cautious.  Over the same spell Arsenal have played eight games, won three and drawn two, but two of the three wins were against Benfica.

There have been 110 games between the teams across the centuries.  Arsenal have won 54, Burnley 34 and 22 have been draws.

The Burnley win on 13 December last year by 0-1 was a shock in that in the previous 14 games going back to 8 March 2009, Burnley had won nil, drawn two and lost the rest.  The largest Arsenal win was on 6 May 2018 in which Arsenal won 5-0.  The last time Burnley won the double over us was back in the Dark Ages (well, 1963).

But if it is a draw, that will be the first time since the dawn of time itself that Burnley have drawn five home matches in a row.   The BBC are indeed predicting just such an earth shattering event.

However only one team has scored fewer goals than Burnley and that is Sheffield United.  Maybe that’s why the crowds at Turf Moor are so low these days.

Meanwhile only two teams have conceded fewer than Arsenal, and those are Chelsea and Manchester City.  Is Arteta following the George Graham approach of defence first, and only later think of attack?

If we can get three goals however it will be the third time in three consecutive games since September 2019.

And oh yes there is the fact that Aubameyang has scored more often against Burnley than against any other team in the Premier League.

But really it is our away form in the league that is a welcome improvement…

Date Match Res Score Competition
29 Dec 2020 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
02 Jan 2021 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal W 0-4 Premier League
26 Jan 2021 Southampton v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League
02 Feb 2021 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
06 Feb 2021 Aston Villa v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
28 Feb 2021 Leicester City v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League

Four out of six away games won, with a goal scoring of 12 goals scored and five conceded.  That is what we should be focusing on, as we look for another solid win.

A win will, at most, only take us up one place, but it will edge us closer to that cluster of clubs hovering around the Europa spot.

Tackles, fouls and yellow cards.  These figures are truly weird.

7 comments to Burnley v Arsenal: the injuries, and an encouraging run of results

  • Mikey

    It might have made the second leg more relaxing if we’d beaten Benfica first time round but I don’t believe we did!

  • Mikey

    I’m completely intrigued with the IFAB decision to change the rule regarding disallowing a goal for an accidental handball.

    The thing is, I believe that it’s the correct decision because it’s a nonsense rule but the reason they say they’ve done it is, according to the BBC website, “because of the “interpretation of handball incidents” not being applied consistently.”

    So what they’re saying is that because refs and VAR refs can’t do their jobs properly they are changing the rule. In what way does that change the fact that it’s the officials inability to consistently apply the rules that is the problem.

    What’s even crazier, is that there are clearly many more rules that they do not “apply consistently” e.g. offsides, diving, penalties, yellow and red cards etc etc. Why not change the rules on those things too? Or more sensibly, get the officials to actually do the job properly? It’s what they’re paid for.

  • Menace

    @Mikey – what should happen is the PGMOL should be disbanded and a more honest system of officials selection should be implemented where random selection of referees are made from a pool of qualified officials without the Riley shadow.

    The rule change does not happen till July.

  • Menace

    There is a new proposal on the offside law from Arsene Wenger, where there has to be daylight between the forward and the second last defender (including the goal keeper). It will be trialled initially before ISAB introduce it within the Laws. That means that any part of the forward can overlap with the defender and keep him/her onside.

  • Mikey

    @ Menace

    Totally agree on the Riley circus.

    The offisde I’m less sure of. Apparently it’s if any part of the body you can score with is behind the second last defender. I’m not sure that this doesn’t just move the problem forward a foot or two. If it were actually “clear daylight” it might be better imho.

  • Menace

    @ Mikey agreed. Clear daylight is one simple check. The complicate body parts gives room for excuses and corruption.

    Our game is absolutely getting screwed by our pathetic decision making in defence and in attack. Kick the ball away from our goal and kick it at the opponents goal.

  • Mikey

    @ Menace

    I think there’s a lot of merit in playing out from the back as it’s much more difficult to regain possession nowadays. Nonetheless, I see no merit in doing it at all cost. Whilst Xhaka wasn’t blameless today, he should never have been put in such a position.

    I do think though that a major part of the problem is Tony has identified. We cannot afford to tackle as much as other teams because of the bias we see from referees when we do. Hence we need to lose possession as little as possible.

    As long we have to constantly play up a massive sloping pitch, we’re damned if we do and carded if we don’t.