Premier League Preview and Prediction: Burnley vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Burnley  vs. Arsenal

Venue: Turf Moor – Sunday, October 2 – 16:30 BST (11:30 ET)

Match Odds: Burnley 15/2 – Draw 19/5 – Arsenal 4/11

Match Preview

Burnley welcome Arsenal to Turf Moor in the final game of the Premier League weekend in a tie that has the makings of a cracker.

Burnley will be full of confidence. They were given little hope by many ahead of their game against Watford last time out, but won 2-0 and picked up a valuable three points.

Sean Dyche’s side sit 13th, already four points ahead of the bottom three. They must make Turf Moor a difficult place to visit to ensure they pick up as many points as possible early in the season.

Burnley know they’re in for a tough one this weekend. They have lost their last four games against Arsenal, but they will be looking to frustrate their opposition here and come away with a positive result.

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Arsenal couldn’t be more confident heading into this tie. They destroyed Chelsea last weekend, ending a long winless run against their London rivals and will be looking to mount a title challenge off the back of that result.

Arsene Wenger will be pleased with how his side have performed over their last four league games, they have taken maximum points and scored 12 goals along the way.

Arsenal have to kick on and look to take all three points in games like this if they are to mount a successful title challenge this season.

The Gunners haven’t looked as dangerous and clinical in front of goal as they did last weekend for some time. If Burnley give them chances here they will be punished.

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Team News

Burnley have just the one injury concern as Ashley Barnes looks set to remain out.

Arsenal still have a whole host of injuries. Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin are all expected to miss this tie.

Key Points

Burnley’s last five: W/L/D/L/W

Arsenal’s last five: D/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal have won their last four matches against Burnley.

Key Player: Theo Walcott – The Englishman has been in fine form. He is thriving having Wenger’s confidence instilled in him and looks dangerous every time he comes forward.

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Score Prediction

Burnley 1-3 Arsenal – This one looks like it has the makings of being one step too far for Burnley. They have looked bright in games this season and certainly don’t look set for struggles in the coming weeks so long as the squad remains fresh and morale stays high. Arsenal have to take all three points in this one to keep pace at the top.

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Arsenal legend urges Wenger to sign Liverpool star

Legendary Arsenal striker Ian Wright has urged Arsene Wenger to sign unsettled Liverpool star Raheem Sterling this summer.

Sterling, who is yet to sign a new deal amidst reports that he is unhappy with his playing position, has been tipped for a summer move away from Liverpool.

And Wright has responded by tweeting: “Come on Arsene! Go in and get ‘Raheem the dream Sterling’ from Liverpool and play him where he wants.”

https://twitter.com/IanWright0/status/582524105213231104

If a move to the Gunners is on the cards they will have to offload at least one of their current attacking options and a likely candidate would be Theo Walcott, who is in a similar contract position himself.

Don’t miss: Are Chelsea and Arsenal set for huge £100,000-a-week swap deal?

Sterling has reportedly refused to negotiate any new Liverpool deal until the summer, which could mean he is waiting to see if the Reds make the Champions League as the race for the top four in the Premier League is so close.

If Brendan Rodgers’ side fail to make the top four, a move away from the club looks ominous. With eight games remaining Liverpool trail Manchester United in fourth spot by five points.

Is Arsenal a possible destination for Raheem Sterling?

Are Chelsea and Arsenal set for huge £100,000-a-week swap deal?

Chelsea and Arsenal could be set to make the biggest swap deal of the summer transfer window as the Blues have stepped up interest in Theo Walcott, with Petr Cech a target for the Gunners.

Walcott will have just one year remaining on his current Arsenal deal at the end of the season and Chelsea are monitoring the situation closely, according to the Times.

At the same time, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is hoping to secure a deal for Chelsea hero Cech, who has fallen behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order and is likely to move on this summer.

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Cech will also only have one year left on his contract at the end of the current campaign but Arsenal are waiting for official confirmation from the player that he is leaving before making an official approach, as stated by the Daily Mail.

Jose Mourinho would not be keen to sell Cech to Premier League rivals, but interest in Walcott could see the London rivals reach an agreement to swap their stars. The Blues don’t want to sell Cech for less than £10 million but Walcott’s value is higher than that so a straight-cash swap is unlikely.

Both players would be able to remain in London and would not have to take a pay cut if a swap deal was arranged.

Walcott is one of the Gunners’ highest earners as he is on around £100,000-a-week, while Cech earns around £120,000 each week but has had to settle for just four Premier League appearances this season.

It would not be the first time Chelsea and Arsenal agreed to swap key players as Ashley Cole and William Gallas swapped colours in 2006 when Mourinho and Wenger were both in charge.

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Walcott has made just three league starts this campaign after returning from an ACL injury in November, and although he would like a contract extension with the Gunners, he may be tempted by Chelsea’s interest if no deal is put in front of him.

Liverpool are also interested in Walcott and are lining him up as a possible replacement for Raheem Sterling, who could leave the club this summer as contract talks have failed to reach a conclusion yet. Chelsea are one of many clubs monitoring Sterling’s situation too.

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Cech wants first-team football and could get it at Arsenal, while Mourinho could tempt Walcott with the chance to play as a striker more often than he does with the Gunners.

Didier Drogba’s contract is up at the end of the year so the Blues will need another attacking option, and Walcott’s homegrown status is another key reason behind Chelsea’s interest.

Would a swap deal between Chelsea and Arsenal for Walcott and Cech make sense?

Arsenal legend questions Hodgson’s England squad, criticises Spurs duo

Former Arsenal attacker Paul Merson has criticised Roy Hodgson’s England squad selection and feels that two of the Spurs players called up should not be there, along with a few others.

Merson feels that Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker do not deserve to be in the current England team and has questioned Hodgson’s supposed forward-thinking approach.

“I’m surprised by the squad. We’re not planning for the future,” Merson said in his column for the Daily Star.

“If Roy knew there was a six-year plan and he was the man to implement it, things would be different.

“The squad puzzles me. Roy went to see Manchester United against Tottenham the other week.

“He watched Andros Townsend have a stinker and get taken off after half an hour, and he watched Kyle Walker get absolutely rinsed.

“But he’s picked them both in his squad! If he’d already made up his mind, why bother going to the game?

“Townsend is only there because he played well for England 18 months ago. I thought it was supposed to be on form?”

Merson also questioned the decisions to bring in Ashley Young, Theo Walcott, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

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But he did have some praise for another Spurs star, Harry Kane. It’s impossible to criticise the young Tottenham striker, and although Merson is pleased to see him in the squad, he does not feel he is good enough to start at the European Championships next year.

“At least he picked Harry Kane. He deserves it. He’s been doing it every week. You can have your head turned when you get picked for England but he went and scored a hat-trick!

“He can play in the hole like Wayne Rooney or he can play in front of him. When he plays as a No 10 he still gets in the box all the time. But I’d play him in front of Rooney and let him run into the corners and open the game up.

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“Daniel Sturridge is still the man for me going into the Euros. I think he gives you a bit more pace. But Kane is the next best option off the bench.”

Kane scored from the bench on his debut in Friday night’s 4-0 win against Lithuania at Wembley and will be hoping to get his first start in Tuesday night’s friendly with Italy.

Do you agree with Paul Merson’s comments? Is the current England squad the best it could be?

Arsenal icon states club MUST tie down ’15-20 goal a season’ star

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is yet to be offered a new contract with the club with just 18 months to run on his current deal.

There has been plenty of speculation about where Walcott’s future will be and Liverpool seems to be a possible destination if Arsenal fail to tie him down to a long-term deal.

Don’t Miss: Liverpool legend reveals club ‘would love to sign’ Arsenal star

But former Arsenal midfielder, Paul Merson, claims the club cannot afford to let the England international depart.

“Arsenal need to sign him up, because he’s someone who will come back and haunt you badly,” he said on the Morning View on Sky Sports News.

Merson has claimed Walcott is the sort of player who can consistently score throughout the season and that there would be lots of interest in the England international if he were in a position to leave the Gunners.

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“Everybody in the country will want to sign Walcott, he will get you 15 to 20 goals a season.

“Arsenal need to sign him very, very quickly. He’s a must, an absolute must.”

After a reported bust up with manager Arsene Wenger, Walcott took to twitter to dismiss the reports and has played down the news surrounding his contract situation.

Walcott said: “Reports about contract demands and bust-ups with the boss are complete nonsense. There have been no contract talks as yet and my current focus is not on contracts but on doing my best for Arsenal FC.”

Will Theo Walcott get a new Arsenal deal? How important is he to the Gunners?

Liverpool legend reveals club ‘would love to sign’ Arsenal star

Theo Walcott‘s contract talks with Arsenal have been halted until the end of the season, prompting suggestions of a move away from the club and former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher has revealed that Walcott would be a welcome addition to Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Walcott, who has been at Arsenal since 2006, is struggling to get into the current side and has made just eight league appearances this season.

His absence from the squad has been mainly due to the injury he suffered back in early January last year, which kept him out until October. Walcott then suffered a further setback in November 2014, with a groin strain keeping him out for a month.

Since his return to fitness Walcott has made just six appearances and Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal’s quality attacking options haven’t helped Walcott.

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“He’s a good player but is struggling to get into the Arsenal team with their top attacking players,” Carragher said in his weekly column for Sky Sports.

“If he was available then I’m sure any Liverpool fan, player or manager would love to see him at the club.”

Walcott’s Arsenal career has been plagued with injuries and his best run in the squad was arguably back in the 2012/13 season, where he made 32 Premier League appearances, scoring 14 goals.

If he can stay injury-free he is capable of producing that high quality form on a consistent basis but whether that is to be with Arsenal has not yet been confirmed.