Burnley are in danger of getting sucked into a relegation battle and could really do with taking all three points when they host Arsenal at Turf Moor on Saturday (12:30pm; TV: Live on BT Sport).
Towards the end of January, Burnley were nine points clear of the bottom three having played the same number of matches as Fulham in 18th. A run of just one win in their last eight matches has left them much more precariously placed ahead of this weekend’s action.
Sean Dyche’s side did a very decent job at home to Leicester on Wednesday, coming away with a point from a match they might have won against a side competing for a place in the top four. Matej Vydra gave them an early lead, only for Leicester to equalise prior to the interval. Posts were hit and chances saved thereafter in a very entertaining encounter.
Dyche expressed his pleasure at the performance, although he will surely be keen for his side to more often convert those kinds of displays into maximum points. While Burnley have only won once in their last eight, four of those matches have ended in draws, and just one more win from those would have had them much more comfortably placed.
As it is, just six points separate them in 15th from Fulham in 18th. Fulham and the two other teams between them in the table all have a game in hand on Burnley. They are still not the prime candidates to go down according to the bookies’ EPL odds, but if they don’t get a win or two on the board sharpish, the situation could swiftly worsen. In general, their underlying numbers don’t look great, so they might struggle to pull themselves out if they do drop further.
It will also be good for them to give themselves some margin for error in the fixtures to come against both Newcastle (in four matches time) and Fulham (in early May), direct rivals in the battle against the drop.
Not long ago, Arsenal would have seemed pretty favourable opponents in that context, but their form has been such that since Christmas only West Ham and leaders Manchester City have taken more points than them on a per-match basis. That upturn in results has been matched by improving metrics.
Mikel Arteta’s side are still only 10th and remain highly unlikely to bridge the eight-point gap that separates them from the top four. That is not least because the three teams directly ahead of them all have a game in hand, but things certainly look a lot brighter than they did in the build-up to Christmas, when a run of seven matches without victory left them down in 15th, just four points off the bottom three.
Like Burnley, Arsenal’s most recent opponents were Leicester, but unlike Burnley, Arsenal were able to come away with all three points in what was a dominant performance. They went behind early on, but managed to turn things around before the break thanks to a goal from David Luiz and an Alexandre Lacazette penalty. Nicolas Pepe scored early into the second period to establish an advantage they never really looked likely to lose.
That was the Gunners’ seventh win in their last 12 in the league and Arteta appeared happy with the way his side are developing in his post-match interview. With their Europa League campaign still ongoing following victory over Benfica in the round of 16, he and his side still have plenty of play for between now and the end of the campaign.
The first leg of Arsenal’s quarter-final against Olympiakos takes place on Thursday, but it is more likely to affect preparations for next weekend’s North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur than this weekend’s trip to the north west.
The form book would suggest this is likely to be a fairly comfortable win for Arsenal. There are some counterarguments to that, including the fact that it was Burnley who came away with maximum points when they met at the Emirates earlier this season, with a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang own goal the difference between the two sides.
Burnley seem a little underrated here, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they were able to grab a point on Saturday. So our Burnley vs Arsenal betting tip for this Premier League match preview is:
- Back the draw @ best odds of 3/1 with one of the bookies in the odds table below.
Compare Burnley vs Arsenal Match Winner Betting Odds from Best UK Bookmakers