Emery Guns for a Win by Making Six Changes: Burnley v Arsenal Preview


Miracles have long ceased to happen. Even if the Spuds are to lose to Everton while we beat Burnley to finish level on points with them, we are never going to upset the 8 goals difference advantage the Spuds have over us. That is why so many are calling on Emery to send out a team of kids in this end of season game against Burnley. I doubt that he would. Why?

1) There is £1,500,000 prize money difference between finishing 5th or 6th on the table. Man U are 1 pt below us and playing at home against Cardiff. They are eager to lay their paws on that extra tidy sum that might be enough for us to pay ESR’s wages for the whole of the following season. It would be thoughtless of us to oblige them that. Am pretty certain the BoD would have made clear to our head coach that it is a must win game. Kronke, believe you me, is a lot more interested in our on-field success than meets the eye.

2). All footballers like being on the field. Amongst other things they like stacking up all sorts of stat, be it the number of starts or the total minutes played over the season. This is even more so for strikers whose value are referenced by the number of goals they have scored. Smart managers know that players chasing targets tend to give more so they not only want to play them but they also find it more difficult to deny opportunity to their hunger. I expect Emery to give Auba a chance to win the golden boot being only two goals behind the front man. Even Laca would be desperately wanting to increase his 13 goal tally. It’s difficult saying no to such hunger.

3). On a personal note, Emery would prefer to finish the season on 70 pts instead of on 67 pts. He knows that memory can be so short. Sooner than later the world would forget that he ended up at lowly 67 pts because he was protecting his players for a Europa Cup final. Dare he stumble afterwards and that stat becomes a stick to beat him with. Nobody remembers anymore that Wenger’s 63 pts earnings was in a season he had to prioritized Europa over the Premiership with many games still to go. That “evil” that he did now dogs his name

4). The rational mind seems to have very little to do with the emotions of football. Lose a match and morale everywhere drops, the fans and all the players alike, irrespective of whether an under strength team or not was fielded. Emery would not want that as we prepare for Baku. He’d want a result against the Clarets that would aid our mental state for the journey to Baku. He’d wants a win and so would field a team he believes can give him that.

5). Emery is the unrelenting tinker man. There must be something to try out, like Iwobi at left wing back. He’s already scratching his head looking for a way past Chelsea.

On the other hand Emery would be worrying about red zones and impact injuries, so it is a near impossible task predicting correctly the team we would see today. There are too many contradictory things to balance but for sure it won’t be a team full of kids. Here’s my guess:-


Bench: Cech, Jenkinson, M-Niles, Guendouzi, Willock, Ozil, Nketiah.

Every away win helps our away complex. Baku is a half-away match. We need a win at Turf Moor.


By PE.

32 thoughts on “Emery Guns for a Win by Making Six Changes: Burnley v Arsenal Preview

  • I wouldn’t play Mustafi or Elneny, they’re too unpredictable and I would rather have Maitland-Niles in the team, but I’m glad Ozil’s not been included, although I’m sure he will come on at some point. All I hope is that we finish in the top 4. Come on The Gunners.

  • Cheers PE. good arguments for Emery taking the game seriously and mostly agreed. It has been bizarre how poor we have been in recent PL games and yet we are in the UEFA League finals. There is every chance that today will be another embarrassing and painful performance by the Gunners, so best to prepare ourselves for another disappointment, regardless of who is on the team sheet. Of course, like you, I am hoping for a powerful win today which would be a good preparation for our game in BAKU much later this month. Let’s see what happens.

    Finally, will it be Pool or Citeh to win the PL? It is hard to think that a team losing only one PL game all season still does not win the league. 😕

  • For the Liv/City race …… am backing Liv for the CL (obviously) but am not keen on a double for them. It would make us look a ragtag army. Today I back City still I doff my hat to Klopp and his men.

  • Yet another reason why we need to finish above Man U is that if Watford wins the FA cup the 6th team in the PL is relegated to a July Europa playoff.

    Finally today at Turf Moor there is one tiny cup called “Pride” to play for.

  • Great post PE, you’ve done some good work this season, thanks for all your efforts and I hope your mighty pen is as productive next term…

    As for today, I would personally start Willock and Nketiah, we need to see how these lads perform in a top confrontation and we could still have some of the big hitters on the bench if we need them.

    For me Koscielny should be at home with his feet up.
    Ozil also, this is a game that doesn’t suit his skill set at all.

    Emery will be guided by his medical team, as we’ll have some heavily fatigued players in or around the red zone. Burnley are not a team with speedy forwards, it’s going to be an aerial battle a physical match up therefore I’d start Mavropanos.

    Anyway, it is what it is, I’m going for a draw and Cardiff doing us a favour… 🤞

  • Great preview, PE and you’ve captured the considerations well. I am with you on how Emery will be looking at this game, as we keep Baku in focus. After some of the, largely embarrassing, results we’ve had in the last few games domestic games, it is important the team closes on a high. They will be seething from that “last home day” draw at the Emirates and will be looking to put it right.

    Like the predicted lime up too but with the following exception(s). We may see Kolasinac in place of Iwobi. He’s not started for a few games now so, I’m not sure the manager will change that today (even if I understand why you think he will be shoe-horned in so as to rest the regulars), when the specialist is available. All in all, I won’t second guess Emery in team selection because it’s hard to know what he comes up with.

    Wish the boys all the luck today and for the final.

  • On the City or Liverpool argument, it is City for me in the league. For God’s sake, I enjoy that we can banter with Liverpool on the subject of the EPL trophy, even if they are European royalty. Just for the bantz, it will be nice if they win the EPL only after we’ve managed to capture the CL. Now, I have put that out, Chris Hughton will go on to cost City the 3 points (but I hope not).

    For the same reason, Liverpool for the CL. Spurs must not win it or it will be tough for our fans in the seven sisters/Holloway road area. I know what those Spuds get up to, having had to go through a gauntlet of them on the way to the seven sisters station. Crazy bunch who don’t deserve the joy of such a win/trophy. SPURS JUST CANNOT WIN THE CL, please. Let the heavens hear me and respond.

  • EPL Final day Tid-bit: the last Manager to beat Man City, on the last day of the league season, is …(wait for it) Chris Hughton, as Norwich City Manager in the 2013 season. 🤔
    Hughton is Manager of today’s opponent, Brighton & Hove Albion.

  • Once again, Emery has come up with a confusing line up. Whoever mentioned Mavropanos was spot on, it would seem, while Iwobi is more a left winger/midfielder in the 4 at the back line up. He has allowed Auba a chance to improve his numbers too.

    Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Taylor, Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Barnes, Wood

    Subs: Hart, Gunmundsson, Brady, Crouch, Ward, Vydra, Long

    Arsenal: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Monreal, Elneny, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Willock, Iwobi, Aubameyang

    Subs: Cech, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Nketiah, Lacazette

  • Krystian Bielik and his Charlton team won 2-1 and are now 90 minutes away from Wembley and a possible promotion to the Championship.

    Charlton are a definitely one of the English clubs that I’d like to loan our players to next season, Charlton look after our players and give them plenty of exposure.

    I’m hopefull that Arsenal and Emery see Bielik as a player they can use next season.

  • 17 days for Danny Welbeck to improve his fitness…

    Is it at all possible that Emery would have him on the bench for the Europa final?

  • After Mavropanos came off Kos marshalled the defense very well. Auba’s 2 goals meant that we were up for a scrappy end, as he could not find the hat trick.

    The whole team reeks of confidence, and Chavs drew, so we are relieved that Nketiah’s cross bounced off the defender and keeper right at the very end.

    So, the golden boot is shared by 3 strikers, and had Auba scored his hat trick he would have won it outright. Nonetheless a good topsy turvy season for the lads, and now, over 2 more weeks to the Europa League final.

  • In the end, fine result for the end if the domestic season. Guendouzi (why does he have to dwell on the ball so much) must have been our best player out there, attracting a bruising by the Burnley midfielders who seemed to always leave something on him. Of course, Auba worked hard and looked like he wanted the goals today; shame he missed two great sitters and a couple of good chances too. There was the one where Nketia put it on a plate for him and he somehow missed, with the goal gaping at him.

    The defenders were initially showing nerves whenever the hosts came forward but later started to keep a handle on things (after Kos came on) despite some fine chances Burnley created. Keeper Leno did his part when called upon too. It was nice to see some of our youngsters showcasing their abilities out there. I think both Nketiah and Willock will walk into any of the sides below 10th place.

    It’s a shame Mustafi has had a few error-strewn games thus turning fans on him. When he keeps it simple, he can be a useful member of the back line but I guess he’s gone, fan power and all that. He did okay today. Iwobi started not so brightly but has grown into the game and seemed to have been tasked with getting Auba the goals he needed. He made one really classy assist (for the Auba volleyed goal) and created a number of chances which were fluffed. In the end, we will rue those games in which we dropped points unexpectedly, seeing as we were only one point behind 4th.

    Not sure how Emery keeps them fired up for the final vs Chelsea but he’s just got to find a way.

  • These are my 8 positives after seeing the match (TA, please do yours 🙂 )

    1. I felt that Elneny had a good game last evening. He did well to protect and help out in defense, at times the formation was 3-5-2, or 3-5-1-1, when Elneny became Central Defender. He had a good game passing to his midfield colleagues to bring the ball out of our half too.
    He is a massive asset for the team. Keep him Emery.
    2. We were hairy with Mavropanos being all rusty (A score of 5 for me for his foraging forward runs) and 3 times (or was it 2?) we could have fell behind from the quick feet of Burnley. Kos saved the day by replacing him after he got injured.
    3. Willock. If Reiss Nelson comes back they will make a formidable attacking midfield pairing just in front of Torreira or Xhaka. Willock is getting confident by the months and he is set to get his big break next season. Curled a shot narrowly wide but he is getting better and better.
    4. Iwobi. What can I say? Mentally he is still unstable. He just cannot think quickly enough in the first half and had a few opportunities spurned.
    He was a different breed in the second half, especially after the second goal, where he had more confidence putting crosses into the box to try and find Auba for his hat trick.
    Can we see more of the second half Iwobi?
    5. Mkhi. He had a low key game yesterday, and wasted more crosses compared to putting them into the box. We needed a better midfielder, and the best person now is Rambo. Ozil is a close second but his season is an underwhelming one.
    6. Leno. What a game for him. I wanted Cech to have the last hurrah 2 weeks from now, but somehow I would like Leno to feature. He is calmness personified in that clash with Barnes.
    I thought that Barnes is lucky to stay on the pitch after his ceaseless rant at the referee. A rugby player rather than a footballer.
    7. Mustafi. His best game of the season. He had a pressured game yesterday by the hard tackling Burnley but he did well not to have his brain blowing up.

    8. Auba. What can I say? He had a great season, might have done better in a couple of matches but all in all he still ended the season joint top scorer and the golden boot. It all boils down to his mentality and he has the skill to run away with the top scorer award at his peak.
    Yesterday he was at his very best but just missed out on a hat trick. A very determined display from him and we can rely on him to mash the chavs.


  • Interesting point about Mustafi there Eris, since his nightmare against Palace he’s arguably been our most consistent defender, but as you say, once you lose the fans’ confidence it’s enormously difficult to regain their trust.

    Maybe it’s just a mental thing with him as he doesn’t seem to lack confidence or it could just be that a less physical league might suit his skill set?

  • Kev, it is a mental thing with Mustafi. Physically he is ok, but mentally not.
    Take for example a few games this season. In my 8 positives i mentioned that he had a good game at Burnley, and a few games this season he did well too, but mainly not against teams that pressure us.

    His brain explosions made us suffer deeply, and his lack of communication with his keeper and fellow defenders made it worse,

    An outlet mentioned that Gazidis wants him at Milan. Should he be going there, knowing that Italy’s league is more demanding defensively?

  • Good point 84, Serie A isn’t as intense as the Prem, it would probably suit him, but who knows what the club have planned, from what I’ve been hearing on the wires the club are in the process of negotiating new contracts with Aubameyang and Lacazette which given their performances this season, makes a lot of sense. It’s good to see the club finally being so proactive with the contracts of the players they want to keep as well as the players whose value they want to protect.

  • Mustafi is a bit like Coquelin. Possibly the best winner of the ball we have (his stats for tackles and aerial duels are usually the best). But with the ball at his feet he is not a quick thinker. So he is prone to errors in tight situations. He is now trying to compensate for his shortcomings with the long balls which non of our defenders can do (vital in this age of high lines). Imo, he’s probably our current best right full back (not wingback). I doubt that he would be sold despite the fans being oversensitized towards him.

  • A question for all.

    The news outlets are talking about the rumours that Citeh will be banned due to the Financial Fair Play, and they will be kicked out of the Champions League. We will be ablr to get their slot instead if that happens.

    So, will it be possible to inherit the slot if we win the Europa League and spuds needs to play in the preliminaries? Or that slot will go to manu**?

  • If City are disqualified the 5th team ie us become the 4th CL qualifier. That’s all. Tot become the 3rd place qualifier.

    If City is not disqualified, the Tots would be involved in the play offs whether we win the Europa or not.

  • Jadon Sancho is seen as the flag bearer and the success he has achieved since leaving Manchester City and signing for Borussia Dortmund has tempted others to follow suit.
    In recent seasons Arsenal have lost Chris Willock to Benfica, Stephy Mavididi to Juventus and Marcus McGuane to Barcelona.
    And with widespread interest in John-Jules and Amaechi, there is a very real chance they could lose two more of their emerging talents unless they can convince them that their futures are best served in north London.
    Amaechi, who trained with the first-team on Wednesday at London Colney, is wanted by Bayern Munich. The German giants believe the 18-year-old winger has the potential to enjoy the sort of success Sancho has with Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
    And John-Jules is viewed by many as a rare commodity in the modern game, given he is coming through as an out and out No.9.
    Unai Emery took both players away with the first-team in March for the warm-weather training camp in Dubai in a bid to show they were part of his plans going forward.
    Tyreece John-Jules Arsenal 2018/19
    The teenage duo were actually supposed to be away with England at the time, but were given permission to remain with Arsenal after the Gunners requested they were allowed to travel to work with Emery and the first-team.
    Ameachi started the friendly game with Al Nasr before John-Jules showed his ability in front of goal by the scoring what proved to be the winner in the 3-2 victory having come on as second-half substitute.
    Speaking after that win in Dubai, John-Jules said: “It was an amazing feeling. I’ve been looking forward to this moment all my life, so I’m just happy that it’s actually come off.
    “It’s been an amazing experience. It’s been about getting to know the players. The game’s a lot quicker than under-23s football though and it’s going to improve me as a player.
    “It’s about taking it all in and trying to go again. Hopefully I’ll get anther chance.”
    In all competitions across youth levels this season, John-Jules has scored 16 goals in 29 appearances for Arsenal. Amaechi, who missed three months due to a broken metatarsal sustained while playing for England, has four goals and five assists from 14 outings with Freddie Ljungberg’s Under-23s.

  • The above is part of a piece on Goal.com regarding Arsenal trying to convince two of our best prospects to extend their contracts, that end in 2020.

    This is going to be an ongoing issue with so many good young players and not enough opportunities for them to play!

  • Cheers Kevski. It is a difficult balance for the club to find, especially with the annual pressure of getting into the top-four. No time for experimenting and that is hurting the youth policy,..

  • Congratulations to Krystian Bielik in helping Charlton Athletic reach the Division One play-off final at Wembley vs Sunderland.

    He has one year left on his contract so Emery and the club have to decide if he has a future or not at Arsenal this summer. Maybe he’ll go with the squad to the USA so that Unai can take a closer look at him? If not, then I guess he’ll be moving on fairly rapidly as Raul, Huss and the contracts guys get their teeth into all the many contracts that haven’t been addressed.

    If you are a talented young player at Arsenal, then this summer could/should be the golden ticket for you to cement your future at the club. With the Gunners looking to shave a few million off of the wage bill this summer, internal solutions ought to be a priority, like Martinez as our No.2 goalkeeper or Willock as a regular in the squad and off of the bench.

    It’s quite a difficult balancing act for the manager as he needs to get results to satisfy all his ‘fans’ on social media, not least also in terms of incoming transfers. I mean if you’re John Jules, you’ll see Danny Welbeck leave, that’s a positive for him as he and Eddie will be competing as the back up to Lacazette and Aubameyang, but if Arsenal go out and buy a young striker, maybe around 22/23, then he might decide to leave. We have a brilliant group of young players but we need to encourage them and trust them, otherwise they’ll lose heart and maybe follow the path trod to the Bundesliga by Jadon Sancho?

  • Yes Total, it would be a brave manager who would go down the youth avenue, Wenger in the past had security of tenure, he knew he had plenty in the bank and could go with the Yoot.
    Emery doesn’t have the time, I mean he could trust the kids, miss out on CL and get the tin tack.
    Then the next manager comes in and the Kids flourish and he’s deemed a genius after Emery took the risks, what would any manager do?

  • Interesting, but according to Transfermarket.com, Xavier Amaechi is under contract until 2022, so someone has their lines crossed it seems?

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