CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Saturday evening's showdown between Arsenal and Burnley.
Arsenal vs Burnley | Sunday 13th December 2020, 19:15 | Sky Sports
Burnley travel to the capital on Sunday evening hoping that they can pull off a shock result and claim not just their first away win of the season, but also their first win away against Arsenal for 46 years.
Both sides have had an appalling start to the season. Mikel Arteta’s team currently sit just seven points off of the relegation zone and are yet to put a run of form together in this campaign. They’ve scored just TWO goals in their last seven and appear to be alarmingly low on confidence.
The Gunners lost the North London Derby last weekend despite dominating possession but did manage to seal their place in the Europa League knockout stages as group winners on Thursday, doing so with a 100% record. This game is could provide Arsenal with the perfect opportunity to get their domestic season on track.
Burnley have been nothing short of horrific throughout the first 10 games this season. They’re currently in the relegation zone and have won just one solitary game so far; a 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace.
Sean Dyche’s side has accumulated just two points away from home out of a possible 15. They’ve proven far too easy to score against and now they face a side who has had their number over recent years.
- Commit on average 10.2 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Receive on average 10.8 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in just 2/5 home games this season.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on just 2/5 occasions.
- Have won each of their last nine home meetings with Burnley in all competitions.
- Are unbeaten in their last 15 league meetings with Burnley (W11 D4).
- Have seen over 2.5 goals in their last eight home matches against Burnley in all competitions.
- Have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 home matches against Burnley in all competitions.
- Arsenal have failed to score in FIVE of their last seven EPL matches.
- Have lost their last three EPL home games. Last losing four consecutive home league games in 1959.
- Have won just 13 points in their opening 11 league games this season, their worst start to a campaign since 1981/82.
- Nicolas Pepe serves the third game of his three-match suspension, while Thomas Partey is ruled out for the home side.
- Gabriel Martinelli stepped up his return from injury in a behind closed doors friendly in the week, but is not ready for regular game time.
- Sead Kolasinac, David Luiz and Reiss Nelson are all doubts and will be assessed.
- Commit on average 11.2 fouls per game when playing away this season.
- Receive on average 12.2 fouls per game when playing away this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 3/5 away games this season.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 2/5 occasions.
- Have lost all six of their away EPL games against Arsenal.
- Have scored just five goals in 10 EPL games this season.
- Burnley have failed to score in their last three away matches.
- Jack Cork is Burnley's only confirmed absentee ahead of their trip to Arsenal.
- Sean Dyche is hoping to have Johann Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady, Dale Stephens and Phil Bardsley available to him in time for the trip to the capital.
- Dyche will hope to name the same XI that started the draw with Everton last week, though that is dependent on Brady's fitness.
Referee: Graham Scott
- Has taken charge of four EPL games so far this season, averaging exactly 3.00 yellow cards per game.
- In his last 20 games officiated, the home sides have seen at least a card in 19 of them (95%) and 2+ cards in 11 of them (55%).
- In his last 20 games officiated, the away sides have seen at least a card in 18 of them (90%) and 2+ cards in 13 of them (65%).
My first bet is for Arsenal to win and Over 2.5 Goals in the game. At first glance it’s a questionable one considering the form of both sides of late. However, quite simply, Burnley have been woeful away from home and Arsenal have an unbelievably good record against the clarets, winning 11 of their last 15 meetings – drawing the other four.
The Gunners have also scored at least two goals in their last eight home matches against Burnley in all competitions. With this in mind, I fancy this to be more entertaining than most people anticipate with a few goals and Arsenal coming out on top.
My second pick is for Arsenal to score, Arsenal to see five or more corners and for Sean Dyche’s men to be awarded two or more cards.
My reasoning for Arsenal to score is the same as above. Arsenal also saw 10 corners in this exact fixture last season and utilise their wingers in an attempt to play an expansive brand of football. They play with a lot of width – 46% of their play this season has come down their left-hand side. With crosses and driving runs into the box I expect Arteta’s side to see at least five corners.
Teams play aggressively against Arsenal and Burnley are an extremely tough side. They don’t shy out of a challenge and will be looking to stop Arsenal by any means necessary given their torrid record away at the Emirates.
Graham Scott has awarded away sides two or more cards in 13 of his last 20 games and I think it happens again in this one.