Arsenal vs Burnley Preview: Can the Clarets win for the first time at the Emirates?
Arsenal battered Burnley 5-0 in Arsene Wenger's last game in charge (photo: Getty Images)

Arsenal vs Burnley Preview: Can the Clarets win for the first time at the Emirates?

Burnley have a dismal recent record against Arsenal.

Chris Lincoln

Positioned 5th and 18th respectively, both Arsenal and Burnley are currently sitting short of where they would like to be come the end of the season.

A 22-match unbeaten spell for the hosts preceded two defeats in a row against Southampton and then Spurs in the League Cup, whilst Burnley have won just three games all season.

Arsenal hold all the cards

The festive frenzy of fixtures will provide the first real stern test for Unai Emery since the beginning of the season. Calls of 'we've got our Arsenal back' have taken a blow in recent weeks with the Gunners dropping three points behind the top four and missing out on a cup semi-final.

Arsenal have a series of injury concerns ahead of this contest with the likes of Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin unavailable. Henrik Mkhitaryan, Shkodran Mustafi and Saed Kolasinac are all doubts so Granit Xhaka could be forced to deputise in defence once again.

However, Arsenal do have a compelling record against their visitors. Winning the last eight meetings, Arsenal are unbeaten in ten fixtures against Burnley, conceding just four goals in the process. The Clarets have lost all six of their competitive fixtures at the Emirates, conceding 18 at a rate of three a game.

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The top six problem

The way each side's respective seasons have developed suggests such a record isn't likely to change this weekend. Arsenal are undefeated in their last eight home matches, whilst Burnley have failed to score in five of their last seven away games, winning just one of the previous 11.

Burnley are likely to play five at the back as they did against Spurs last weekend, frustrating Arsenal's rivals until injury time. Yet they have picked up just nine points in 28 games against the top six teams and have only managed to ascertain six points from their last 11 away fixtures against any team.

For the third time this season, Burnley did not register a single shot on target against Spurs last weekend.

Slow starters against shaky finishers

The visitors will be hoping for a fast start against an Arsenal side that have remarkably not been leading at half-time in any of their home games this season.

However, the nippy Aaron Lennon is injured, whilst the creative influences of Steven Defour, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady are all doubts but expected to be a part of the matchday squad.

Yet no side have conceded more goals in the last ten minutes than Burnley who look likely to be spending Christmas in the relegation zone.