Burnley v Arsenal: Aubameyang key in low scoring affair

Turf Moor hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Mikel Arteta's Arsenal but Ben Steele thinks their captain will give them the edge over Burnley on Saturday...

Arteta looking to rebuild after shaky start

After a nightmare start to the 2021/22 season Arsenal picked up their first points with a win against Norwich and Mikel Arteta will know that he needs his side to produce another positive performance, particularly with the North London Derby on the horizon. Arsenal's record against Burnley is exceptional, unbeaten in their last nine visits to Turf Moor (W4 D5) but, under Arteta they have struggled against Sean Dyche's men.

Since the Spaniard took over at the Emirates in December 2019 he has faced Burnley three times and is yet to pick up a win, with The Clarets' exceptional organisation and robust style often proving difficult for Arsenal to break down.

Last week's victory over Norwich saw The Gunners line up for the first time this season with what is expected to be their first choice defence, Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Ben White looked assured while debutant Takehiro Tomiyasu caught the eye from right back with a dynamic display, the new look back four will aim to build on that foundation against a Burnley side who often struggle for goals.

Saturday's hosts are yet to win this term with a draw against Leeds in their last home game the only positive result so far. The main issue for Burnley this season seems to have been second half performances with 88% (7/8) goals conceded this season coming after the break, so a 5.0 price on Draw/Arsenal in the Half time/Full time market could well provide some value.

Auba can continue Burnley hot streak

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four goals in all competitions and the Arsenal captain will be delighted by the chance to face one of his favourite opponents again this weekend. In seven games against Burnley the Gabon international has scored eight times, opening the scoring in four of those games.

Arteta's tenure has been built on a reliance on goals from Aubameyang. With a midfield likely to be made up of Martin Odegaard, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka, who are not the most consistent of finishers, it would be fair to say that The Gunners' main threat to Nick Pope's goal is their 32-year-old forward.

Nick Pope 1280.jpg

Burnley have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven Premier League games, scoring just three times themselves in that time, and Aubameyang has only scored more goals against Hamburg in his career (nine) so Arsenal's captain to score first @ 4/1 seems a good price.

Chances at a premium at Turf Moor

The three games that Burnley have played against Arsenal under Arteta have only featured three goals in total (0-0, 0-1 and 1-1) and that trend looks set to continue this weekend. Burnley's goals this season have come from James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Chris Wood, and while the New Zealand striker can usually be relied on to score around 10 goals a season his teammates certainly can not be described as prolific.

Similarly, the main criticism of Arsenal over the last 18 months has been a lack of ability to create chances and against a side who will pack the midfield that problem could well rear its head again.

Josh Brownhill, booked in his last two outings, and Ashley Westwood will be tasked with shutting down Odegaard so it may well fall to Thomas Partey to provide the creative spark for Arsenal. The midfielder made his first appearance last week, coming off the bench and playing a key pass in the build up to Arsenal's goal and will be expected to slot into the starting lineup at Turf Moor.

In a defensive battle, I don't expect there to be too many chances for either side and Under 2.5 Goals in the game @ 1.9 or an Arsenal 1-0 win at 8.0 will be well backed.

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