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There are no words to sum up how bad Arsenal have been in the Premier League recently. The Gunners have picked up just four points from their last available 18, something that relegation-threatened Burnley have managed in their last three games and it has been at home where Mikel Arteta’s side have been at their worst.
They have lost their last three home games to Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester. They also barely squeezed over the line against Sheffield United and West Ham in their first two home games of the season.
Their results have been so bad, that they will genuinely be looking over their shoulders if they lose at home to the 18th-placed Clarets on Sunday – but they really should avoid further embarrassment.
Burnley have picked up just two away points all season, failing to score in each of their last three games on the road. The Clarets seem destined for a relegation battle this season and even this crude imitation of a Gunners side should have too much for them.
Sunday 7.15pm: Arsenal v Burnley
Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League
Burnley have proved to be one of the most toothless teams in the league this season; a point highlighted by the fact that they have scored just five goals in 10 league games. Only Sheffield United, who have picked up just one point all season, boast such a poor goalscoring record.
For all their faults, Arsenal have actually been somewhat competent at the back at different points in the campaign. Arteta has often set up his side to avoid conceding goals and they have had some success in that regard. The chastening defeat to Aston Villa aside, Arsenal have been generally tough to break down and Sean Dyche’s Burnley could struggle to do so at the Emirates.
If ever there was a player in desperate need of a goal it is Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Arsenal’s talisman hasn’t scored from open play in the league since the opening day win over Fulham and his decline in form has almost perfectly coincided with Arsenal’s slide down the league table.
Aubameyang did score a penalty in Arsenal’s long-awaited win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, but a return of two goals from 11 goals simply isn’t good enough for a striker of his calibre.
He has the chance to put that right on Sunday against a Clarets side that will almost certainly set up camp on the edge of their own penalty area.
Arsenal will have licence to throw off the shackles, safe in the knowledge that Burnley don’t really have the weaponry to hurt them on the counter-attack, so Aubameyang should see more goalmouth action than he has seen in previous games. This is a big game for Arsenal’s captain, and he needs to seize the opportunity with both hands ahead of a busy Christmas schedule.
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