After yesterday’s results the stakes in this game have increased further going into this afternoon’s clash between Burnley and Arsenal the two sides currently sit seventh and sixth respectively, however both managers know that a win would take them into the top four.
Not something that will be out of the ordinary for Arsene Wenger but should Sean Dyche be able to mastermind a fourth straight win then it would see them covet a Champions League place when many pundits and neutrals tipped them to struggle.
With Burnley as high as they are in the table right now it comes as no surprise that Burnley’s head honcho is being liked with moves away but with the Clarets current standing then the chances of Sean Dyche going elsewhere – namely Everton seem as remote as the Toffee’s breaking into the top four this season.
Last weekend Burnley’s winning streak continued thanks to a 2-0 home win over struggling Swansea, goals from Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes were the difference as they managed to stay hot on the heels of the likes of Liverpool and today’s opponents Arsenal.
Burnley may not be scoring a lot in comparison to the teams above them, an average of just a goal a game at present but when you look at the fact that they are conceding just 0.75 goals per game at the other end then their apparent lack of goals does not matter.
Those three wins have also resulted in three clean sheets and credit has go to Nick Pope for being such an able deputy while Tom Heaton has been out injured, people feared the worse when the England international was injured in the win against Crystal Palace early in the season but Burnley have not missed a step.
It almost seems unfair to drop Pope once Heaton eventually returns from injury but such is the nature of being a Goalkeeper you can only play one at a time and all he can do at the moment is keep up this recent impressive level of performances.
Today though he will have to deal with the wealth of attacking options that Arsenal have to offer and last weekend we saw them at their very best as the trio of Alexander Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez made sure that the Gunners have the North London bragging rights for at least a few months.
A 2-0 win over Tottenham has seen them close the gap to a point between themselves as Mauricio Pochettino’s men and a win today would see them leapfrog their arch rivals and add more misery to the team that were held to a draw by West Brom yesterday afternoon.
There is no doubting that Arsenal raised their game last weekend for the visit of Tottenham, with such a heated derby fixture that is only natural but now they need to make sure that they show the same levels of performance when they make the trip to East Lancashire.
This will be the true test of their consistency, if they can build on last weekend’s huge result and pick up another three points here and then they will well and truly have hit their stride. With three teams dropping points around them yesterday, today presents the perfect opportunity in which to take advantage.
They may well have lost on Thursday while in Europa League action but that result comes with the strict caveat that it was all but a reserve team in Cologne what with the Gunners already securing their path to the Round of 32 in the fixture before.
Usually the questions about playing Thursday – Sunday would be asked in situations like this but with so many rested players that should not be an issue, that said I don’t think Burnley will be a push over and to be honest I can see this one ending up in a draw. Well at least I hope so anyway.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) November 26, 2017