Predicted lineup for Arsenal against Burnley
After a torrid start to the season, Arsenal finally won a game against Norwich City, which eased some pressure on our manager Mikel Arteta.
The scars of the awful run of November and December last year is still fresh among many supporters. And that was clearly evident after the Gunners’ embarrassing defeat to Manchester City.
Many believed it was the “rock bottom” the team had hit and Arteta needed to be shown the door while others were more sympathetic, as Arsenal played arguably two of the best sides of Europe in their opening three games.
Arteta claimed that he sees “bright lights” ahead; But Arsenal fans will only see it if he wins games at a more regular and consistent rate.
💬 "I can really see the light. I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I can see bright lights."
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 16, 2021
Now wins need to come in bunches rather than in ones and twos if Arteta wants to keep the scrutiny at bay. The London club’s match against Burnley is yet another test for the current Arsenal boss to prove he is part of the solution rather than the problem at the red half of North London.
The next question is, which men will Arteta choose for the (physical) battle at Turf Moor?
I expect Aaron Ramsdale to keep his place between the posts. The young Englishman has qualities which Bernd Leno doesn’t possess, and it was evident in the match against Norwich.
Speaking after the win against the Canaries, Arteta said of Ramsdale, “It is not only what he did on the technical side, it is what he transmits, his energy, his chemistry with the backline, how he reacts, his body language. I think it was top.”
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 11, 2021
Although Leno is still better with his hands, coming out of the line and communicating with the defenders is not one of the fortes of the German. And that’s why I believe Ramsdale will continue to be a more regular presence than most expected him to be initially.
One of the many positives from the last weekend win was the back four. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney all gelled well together, helping the team in being solid at the back and more dynamic at the front.
They all will be expected to start.
Arteta’s decision to play Tomiyasu, after he had only two training sessions under his belt, shows the faith the Spaniard has in the Japanese international. But it also shows how he rates the other options available there.
Even though a small sample size, Tomiyasu has had a good start to his Arsenal career…
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) September 11, 2021
In the midfield, the majority of Arsenal supporters were surprised to see Thomas Partey on the bench for the game against Daniel Farke’s men. But given that he had just trained a week, slowly integrating him was a rational decision.
Although Maitland Niles had a few good moments, he still has many weaknesses in his game at central midfield. With Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka out, Albert Sambi Lokonga is the best option to go with Partey.
The front three behind the striker is where we can expect some surprises. Whether it will be Nicolas Pepe or Bukayo Saka on the right? Emile Smith Rowe or Martin Odegaard at the center? Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli on the left?
This pass into Saka (top left) in the lead up to Aubameyang’s goal yesterday perhaps the pass of the season so far #ForMe
Four taken out of the game, partly thanks to Odegaard dropping in to pull Rupp out of position + open the lane up, Partey’s disguise on it was 🔝 pic.twitter.com/D2dgrfUlCG
— Tom Worville (@Worville) September 12, 2021
This is the headache that Arteta will embrace with open arms. The options that he has at his disposal gives him the tools to hurt the Burnley back four in different ways.
But I personally think Arteta will go with Smith Rowe on the left, Odegaard at the center and Saka on the right. Those three are dynamic and creative enough to give Sean Dyche countless problems.
And with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scoring his first goal in the Premier League last week, benching him will make little sense. Lacazette might have to wait for a substitute appearance at Turf Moor or a start against AFC Wimbledon in the midweek to make his first appearance of the season.
Here is my choices to line-up against Burnley…
Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney
Saka Odegaard Smith Rowe
Which Arsenal line-up would you choose for this game?