Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.
Arsène Wenger's side face Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday. To find out more, we asked tactical expert Michael Cox.
Sean Dyche's Burnley side have a decent home record this season, and caused Tottenham plenty of problems in their goalless draw last Sunday. Arsenal start as favourites, but this won't be an easy game.
Burnley's default shape is a simple 4-4-2 system, and Dyche has the most settled starting XI in the league by a distance. Incredibly, he's named an unchanged side in 14 of Burnley's league fixtures.
Against teams like Arsenal who use three central midfielders, Dyche instructs one of his forwards to drop back to help out in the centre. Therefore, Danny Ings will probably retreat and get goalside of Francis Coquelin, in an attempt to prevent Burnley becoming overrun.
Against Spurs last weekend, Burnley used an aggressive midfield press in the opening stages, attempting to win the ball in advanced positions. Arsenal must be aware of this strategy, and pass the ball quickly and efficiently to get around the pressure.
Alternatively, longer balls towards the forwards might work nicely, because centre backs Michael Duff and Jason Shackell, 37 and 31 respectively, both lack speed. They're perfectly comfortable when defending on the edge of their own box, but won't relish the thought of chasing Alexis or Danny Welbeck in the channels.
Central midfielders David Jones and Scott Arfield are hard-working and generally concentrate on shielding the defence and distributing the ball effectively out wide. If Burnley press, though, they're capable of providing pressure high up.
Burnley put a strong emphasis upon crossing. Full backs Ben Mee and Kieran Trippier get forward regularly to create overloads with the wide midfielders. In recent weeks, left-footed George Boyd has played on the right, with right-footed Ashley Barnes on the left, so they're happy to drift inside.
The two strikers, Ings and Sam Vokes are both good finishers. Vokes will challenge for more aerial balls, with Ings looking to play around him, and offering the main goal threat. He attempted four of Burnley's six shots in the reverse fixture, and demonstrated he's happy to shoot from long-range.
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