FA Cup holders Arsenal host Championship high flyers Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend. The game will take place at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday the 30th of January at 3pm. Here we have a full match preview where we will take a look at the form of both teams, bring you the all-important team news as well as look into previous meetings between the sides.
Cup holders Arsenal will be expected to take a comfortable win when they take on Championship side Burnley. Arsenal have won this trophy the last 2 seasons running and are the bookmakers current favourite to lift the trophy again this time around at 9/2. Arsene Wenger is expected to make a few changes to his starting eleven this weekend having done so in previous competitions at this stage.
Per Mertesacker will be missing for the Gunners after his cynical challenge on Diego Costa last weekend earned him a three game suspension. Gabriel Paulista will be expected to deputise and Wenger may wish to utilise youngster Calum Chambers who has found first team opportunities limited this season. Olivier Giroud will be hoping he can start the game after being hauled off in the 20th minute against Chelsea.
The France forward was clearly frustrated to have been sacrificed last weekend and will feel he has a point to prove to Wenger. Arsenal are now unbeaten in 13 FA Cup games, there last defeat coming against Burnleys most bitter rivals Blackburn in 2013, in the 5th round of the cup.
Burnley enter the game in great shape having beaten Championship side Derby County 4-1 at Turf Moor in their last outing. Derby were third in the league at the time but Burnley forced their way ahead with a thumping victory.
That was Burnley’s fourth successive victory in all competitions. In the third round Burnley overcame Championship leaders Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. Many had written Burnley off before the game, even more so when they went 1-0 down to the strongest home team in the division. Burnley were not to be beaten though with goals from Rouwen Hennings and Stephen Ward inside 90 minutes sealing their place in the fourth round draw.
Having won 5 and drawn once in their last 6 games Burnley are a team playing at the peak of their game. Dyche’s men have scored 18 goals in their last 6 games conceding just 3 times. Andre Gray has proved to be a great acquisition with 15 goals already this season making him the leading scorer in the Championship.
Arsenal are currently priced at 9/2 to win the FA Cup
Burnley are currently priced at 150/1 to win the FA Cup
Arsenal are priced at 4/11 to beat Burnley this weekend
The game to end a draw is 15/4 this weekend
Burnley are priced 15/2 to beat Arsenal this weekend
Arsenal FA Cup history
Arsenal have won this cup a record 12 times including the last two seasons. The Gunners have lifted the trophy 6 times under Wenger. Wenger will become the most successful FA Cup manager in history should he lift the trophy again, his 6 successes puts him level with former Aston Villa manager George Ramsey who last lifted the trophy in 1920.
Burnley FA Cup history
Burnley have only won this tournament once, back in 1914 where they beat Liverpool 1-0 in a game played at Crystal Palace in London. The game was settled by a 57th minute strike by Bert Freeman. The Clarets reached the final in both 1947 and 1962 but had to settle for a runners up consolation.
These teams have met exactly 100 times in their long histories with Arsenal claiming 46 wins, Burnley 33 wins with 21 games ending in a draw. Burnley’s last victory against Arsenal came in 2008 where they beat them 2-0 in the League Cup at Turf Moor. Since then Arsenal have won 4 of their 5 meetings with the other ending in a draw.
Alexis Sanchez – The Chile star is looking to regain full match fitness so could be in Wenger’s plans to start this weekend. If he is fit and sharp, then he could be instrumental in the outcome of this game. We all know of his abilities, he is a world class performer and Burnley will be hoping he is still struggling for match fitness on Sunday.
Andre Gray – As mentioned above the forward has needed no time to adjust to his new surroundings, chipping in with 15 goals from 23 league games for Burnley. Gray will provide a real threat for Burnley and will be looking to make his mark in this competition against a much fancied opponent.
Although only having played in 18 FA Cup fixtures the 24-year-old has notched up an impressive 8 goals. He clearly enjoys playing in this competition and is definitely Burnley’s most likely source for a goal.
Arsenal – Arsene Wenger is renowned for tinkering with his team in cup competition. The frenchman has always seen it as an opportunity to field his fringe players as well as give opportunities to young members of his squad to impress. Wenger will be without Santi Cazorla (knee), Francis Coquelin (knee), Danny Welbeck (knee), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Tomas Rosicky who lacks match fitness.
Per Mertesacker will miss the game having picked up a straight red card against Chelsea last weekend. This should path the way for Brazil international Gabriel Paulista.
Burnley – The Clarets will be expected to field their strongest squad in search of a famous victory. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson is expected to be on the bench after signing for Sean Dyche’s team this week. The former England international has been out of football since September 2014.
Matt Gilks is out with injury and Robinson was drafted in as a replacement. Dean Marney is available for selection after recovering from a calf injury. In form players Joey Barton and Andre Gray will be expected to start and will look to cause Arsenal problems.
Arsenal will be strong favourites here and I can’t argue with that given the different statures of the clubs.
Arsenal win 4/11
Arsenal win to nil 5/4
Arsenal 2 Burnley 0 (6/1)