Arsenal host Burnley in Saturday’s early kick-off looking to make it two out of two in the new Premier League season.
The Gunners gained all three points in a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang firing home after some fine work from utility right-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Burnley made an even better start than that, running out 3-0 winners at home to Southampton on the opening day thanks to three goals in 12 second-half minutes from Ashley Barnes (x2) and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
So, which of these sides can make it a perfect start after two games on Saturday?
Read on for our predictions, key players, TV info and team news ahead of Arsenal v Burnley.
When is Arsenal v Burnley and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Saturday, 17 August
Kick-off: 12:30 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 1 & BT Sport 1 HD
Form over last five meetings:
12 May 2019: Burnley 1-3 Arsenal
22 Dec 2018: Arsenal 3-1 Burnley
06 May 2018: Arsenal 5-0 Burnley
26 Nov 2017: Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
22 Jan 2017: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
Aggregate score: Arsenal (WWWWW) 14-3 Burnley (LLLLL)
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Ones to watch
Arsenal: Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Aubameyang stole the headlines with a brilliantly taken goal against Newcastle, but that wouldn’t have been possible without the fine work from Maitland-Niles. The 21-year-old has needed time to adjust to the demands of playing as a right-back, but he put in an eye-catching, all-round performance on Sunday which may just give Unai Emery a headache when Hector Bellerin returns to fitness.
Key stat: Maitland-Niles made more tackles (4) and interceptions (3) than any other Arsenal player against Newcastle.
Burnley: Ashley Barnes
He’s old fashioned, a bit rough and tumble and, at times, not easy on the eye. However, there is one thing you can never deny about Ashley Barnes: he’s effective. The 29-year-old bagged 12 goals in the Premier League last season, his best top-flight return to date, and Barnes followed that up with a two-goal salvo in the second half against Southampton last week, executing both finishes in real style.
Premier League goals in 2019:
Ashley Barnes (11)
Raheem Sterling (11)
Mohamed Salah (10)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (10)
Up there with the league's best. pic.twitter.com/Fsyi669Owt
— Coral (@Coral) August 10, 2019
Calum Chambers and Sokratis formed a solid partnership for Arsenal against Newcastle but are sure to come under real inspection up against Barnes.
Key stat: No Burnley player won more duels (11) than Barnes on game week one.
Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were both left out of Arsenal’s win over Newcastle due to “security concerns.” Addressing questions as to whether the duo are now ready to play, Emery told his pre-Burnley press conference: “They came back to training with us on Tuesday. Mesut Ozil is a little sick, he didn’t train yesterday.”
Emery said Ozil recovered for Thursday’s session before adding: “I think each session gives us good information and good different options with them also to take the decision if they’re going to be with us on Saturday or be in the first XI. But we are going to wait until tomorrow, our last training session.”
Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos made cameo debuts in the second half, while Alexandre Lacazette and David Luiz, awaiting his debut, were unused substitutes.
Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and new signing Kieran Tierney remain injured.
Joe Willock impressed in his 64-minute outing as the 19-year-old doubled his total number of Premier League minutes under Emery, who was particularly pleased with one contribution from the Gunners’ academy product.
Willock’s first top-flight start under Emery came last May against Burnley. It may be he keeps his place while Ceballos and Guendouzi battle it out for a deeper midfield role, which is where both are more effective.
Arsenal predicted XI: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis, Monreal; Xhaka, Guendouzi, Willock; Lacazette, Pepe, Aubameyang
Robbie Brady missed the win over Southampton with a rib injury and remains a doubt for this Saturday’s game, while Steven Defour is still out with a calf problem. Danny Drinkwater will not be involved after his deadline day signing from Chelsea but Charlie Taylor has travelled after returning from injury.
All in all, Sean Dyche is likely to stick close to the starting line-up which looked so convincing last week.
Burnley predicted XI: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Gudmundsson, Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Wood, Barnes
Arsenal have a formidable recent record against the Clarets, winning each of their last 10 meetings and remaining unbeaten since a 2-0 League Cup defeat in December 2008. Arsenal looked functional yet convincing against Newcastle with a host of star players yet to come into the side. Even with Burnley’s fine performance against Southampton, don’t expect Burnley to get much joy out of the Gunners.
Arsenal 2-0 Burnley