Arsenal vs Burnley preview | 4 players missing, duo to make full debuts + prediction

By on August 16, 2019

dani ceballos arsenal

Arsenal take on Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in our first home game of the new season on Saturday afternoon.

It was an excellent start to the new campaign as we came away from St James’ Park with all three points and a morale-boosting clean sheet thanks to a lovely winner from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

I must admit I didn’t expect us to keep a clean sheet given our defensive issues over the last couple of seasons and the fact we’re missing so many defenders but it was encouraging to see the boys keep things tight at a tricky ground.

The challenge for Unai Emery now is to make clean sheets a regular occurrence and not a rarity [only 1 clean sheet away from home last season!] so no doubt he’ll be hoping we keep Burnley at bay tomorrow lunchtime.

That might not be an easy task though as Sean Dyche’s side put three past Southampton on the opening weekend of the new campaign so we can’t take anything for granted.

Team news

Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are expected to return to the squad tomorrow after resuming training this week having missed the Newcastle game due to fresh security incidents at their homes last week. Emery insists the pair are mentally ready to play so we should see them named in the 18-man squad against Burnley.

Alexandre Lacazette is pushing for a recall after overcoming a minor ankle injury while Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos and David Luiz are all hoping to make their full debuts for the club.

However, Granit Xhaka is a doubt due to a bruised back while Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Dinos Mavropanos remain on the sidelines through injury.

As for Burnley, they have no fresh injury worries to contend with and Dyche is expected to name an unchanged line-up from the side that beat Southampton.

Preferred line-up

Calum Chambers did well against Newcastle but let’s be honest, Luiz wasn’t signed to sit on the bench so why delay the inevitable? I’d give him his debut alongside Sokratis. I wouldn’t risk Xhaka so Lucas Torreira can come in alongside Matteo Guendouzi in midfield.

I’d love to see Ceballos given his full debut. Joe Willock was impressive in patches last week but I have high hopes for Ceballos this season. Ozil is obviously another option in the attacking midfield role but I doubt he’s ready to start after a turbulent couple of weeks.

We all want to see Pepe playing alongside Auba and Laca but that time will come soon enough. I wouldn’t want to throw our record signing into action too soon so let’s give him some time to adjust to life in England.

This would be my line-up:

football formations


Arsenal have an excellent record against Burnley as we’ve won each of the last 10 meetings with them and I don’t see that run ending tomorrow. No doubt they’ll come to frustrate us and play for a draw but we have a lot of options in attack now and plenty of creativity so Arsenal should be able to break them down.

Aubameyang took his goal superbly last week and he has six goals in three games against Burnley so let’s hope he continues that kind of form in front of goal tomorrow. I’m backing the boys to secure a 2-0 win with Auba scoring at least once.