Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, in Arsene Wenger’s final home game as manager.
The Gunners and the Clarets are both coming off the back of poor form in recent weeks, but there’s an extra edge to this weekend’s game, as it could settle the battle for sixth place.
With the Gunners nine points adrift of fifth-placed Chelsea, it’s highly unlikely they will finish any higher in the table this season. Arsenal can still be caught by Burnley, however, which makes Sunday’s game more intense.
After disappointment in the Europa League semi-final in midweek, Wenger will desperate to pick up all three points in his farewell home game and will be confident of a win given how well Arsenal have fared against Burnley in the past.
Arsenal v Burnley past meetings
The Londoners haven’t struggled too much with home advantage this season, boasting 14 wins and two draws from their 18 games at the Emirates – only Manchester City have picked up more points in their own backyard. Burnley aren’t too shabby on the road, however, with only City suffering fewer defeats and conceding less goals away from home.
As for overall form, Arsenal come into their meeting with Burnley off the back of just one win in their last six games in all competitions.
As for the Clarets, Sean Dyche’s men are winless in their last three games but have only lost one of their last nine outings – a 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea on April 19. Arsenal still have three games remaining to cement sixth place, but Sunday’s meeting is likely to be more about Wenger, which could encourage a positive performance or prove a negative distraction.
There will be a guard of honour for the departing manager and a celebration of his 22-year career after the game. Supporters will also have red and white T-shirts with ‘Merci Arsene’ imprinted. the Daily Mail have hinted Wenger could be given a permanent tribute, having one of the Emirates’ stands named after him, but there’s been no confirmation.
It’s worth noting, however, that Arsenal still need to put on a performance as there’s more than pride resting on this weekend’s fixture. The Gunners could be forced to play Europa League qualifiers from July 26 onwards if they finish seventh, so only a top performance against the Premier League’s surprise package will do.
Arsenal do well against Burnley regardless of whether it’s home or away, and even though the Gunners are struggling late, Wenger should get them over the line on Sunday.