March 22, 2018

Arsene Wenger: 'Burnley are Premier League's surprise package this season'

26 November 2017, 01:23 | Rodolfo Wallace

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SeanDyche- cropped

Ahead of the contest in Lancashire this weekend, Arsenal opted to throw some shade the way of their high-flying Premier League counterparts by asking their supporters to vote for which strike against Burnley they considered to be the best.

Referee Lee Mason will get the match at Turf Moor under way at 2pm (GMT).

But he is confident Arsenal can match them in these departments after taking out Spurs in the north London derby last weekend.

"That is one of the positives of last night, we have no injuries".

Sunday's match against Burnley represents a different task to a derby match.

Chris Wood is available to return for Burnley after missing last weekend's win against Swansea due to fatigue, having been on worldwide duty with New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Burnley's absentees are Jonathan Walters, Dean Marney and Tom Heaton.

Manager Arsene Wenger's men were again disappointing on their travels on Thursday as a largely second-string side lost 1-0 at Cologne, although that was enough for them to qualify for the UEFA Europa League round of 32. Both teams, every time they won the ball, went forward so the intensity was higher.

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While all the talk has been of the Clarets' sturdy defence this season, Dyche has attacking riches at his disposal for the game as he bids to right the wrongs of two controversial defeats to the Gunners last season.

Wenger said: "Turf Moor is a very hard place to go". Do Arsenal turn up?

As for Burnley's lofty position in the table, level with Arsenal on points, Wenger said: "Yes, they are the most unexpected team of all". If they think it's a lovely Sunday afternoon stroll in Burnley, there's only one victor, and that's Burnley.

And Wenger believes that it could prove to be a massive advantage going into festive period when Arsenal are likely to be playing nearly every three days in the coming weeks.

The New Zealander missed the 2-0 victory against the Swans last Saturday after travelling over 24,000 miles with his national side as they failed to qualify for the World Cup after losing to Peru.

There are several explanations for Arsenal's set piece prowess, one of which comes in the form of France striker Giroud. Every game gives you a different problem to sort out for you to find a strategic solution to be efficient.

The fans were up for it, under pressure to perform, they rub their faces in it. Spurs did, big players didn't turn up. Now it's Burnley, who won't leave anything on that pitch.

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