Arsenal vs Burnley Preview: Sean Dyche keen to make landmark game one to remember

Arsenal vs Burnley Preview: Sean Dyche keen to make landmark game one to remember

The Clarets' chief celebrates his 200th game in charge of the club, and will be eyeing an upset in North London to mark the occasion.

Jordan Eyre

Sean Dyche takes charge of his 200th game as Burnley manager when the Clarets head to Arsenal on Sunday – and will be hoping to commemorate the occasion with three valuable points.

The Turf Moor outfit have struggled on their travels this season, with their hard-fought draw at Manchester United their only point on the road since returning to the Premier League.

But a positive result of any kind at the Emirates Stadium would offer further evidence of their top-flight credentials, while simultaneously putting a dent in the Gunners’ title bid.

Previous encounters

The reverse fixture at the beginning of the October ended in controversial fashion. Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny appeared not only to be offside, but he also looked to have handled the ball as he scored a dramatic late winner for his side as Arsene Wenger celebrated 20 years at the Gunners’ helm.

Burnley are without a win at Arsenal since 1974, and have won just one of the intervening fixtures – home or away – since. In fact, Dyche’s men have lost their five meetings in all competitions against the North London outfit.

The Clarets’ last visit was their narrowest margin of defeat at the Emirates so far; a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup nearly a year ago to the day showed signs of promise as Burnley powered to promotion. On the previous two occasions they have visited Arsenal, however, Dyche’s side had conceded three goals while scoring just one.

Season statistics

Due to the stark contrast between their home and away form, Burnley’s league position has fluctuated all season – even as recently as December 18, Dyche’s side were 16th in the table before a run of three wins from four games saw them surge to 10th.

It is only the second time since the second week of the season the Clarets have been in the top half of the table, with the other following a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace which saw them sit ninth.

The fact that Burnley have gate-crashed the top half of the table is in itself a remarkable feat – during their previous Premier League campaign, they never rose higher than 17th.

Their strong season so far may be down in part to the amount of different goalscorers they have had this season: Burnley have seen 13 players score for them so far, a joint-league high with Manchester City.

Team news

Burnley pair Ashley Barnes and Dean Marney trained on Friday, and are therefore in contention for Sunday’s trip. Johann Berg Gudmundsson is also close to a first team return according to Sean Dyche, while Scott Arfield is “touch and go.”

The Gunners, meanwhile, will still be without injured quartet Theo Walcott, Mathieu Debuchy, Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker