After 21 years, seven months and 5 days in charge of the Gunners, a stadium move, 17 domestic trophies (including Community Shield) and two runner up positions in European competition, the time has arrived for Arsene Wenger to take his final home match as Arsenal Manager.
With sixth place still at stake, it’s kind of apt that Wenger’s final home game has to be a must win against Burnley, who are their rivals for that league position as both teams look to avoid starting their Europa League campaign in July via that seventh placed spot.
Arsenal will be without captain, Laurent Koscielny after the Frenchman limped out of their Europa League exit with an Achilles problem.
Midfielders, Mohamed Elneny (ankle) and Sani Cazorla (calf) are both ruled out but the former could make a final day return at Huddersfield.
Burnley could have Chris Wood available after the New Zealander recovered from foot lacerations.
Ben Mee (calf), Steven Defour and Robbie Brady (knee) are ruled out for rest of season, whilst Scott Arfield has played his final game for the Clarets as he misses their final two games of the season, ahead of joining Rangers in summer.
Arsenal come into this game off the back of a tough exit from the Europa League to end Wenger’s reign without an European trophy.
League wise, the Gunners have won four of last six with all four wins coming at home against teams in bottom half of table.
In those games, they have scored 13 goals and conceded three at the back, whilst keeping a clean sheet in just two of the six league games.
Nine of those goals have come from Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (5) and Alexandre Lacazette (4).
Burnley have lost just once in last nine but have kept just two clean sheets during that run.
Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood have combined to score 11 of the Clarets’ 14 goals, with the former scoring in two of last three games.
- Arsenal are on a nine match unbeaten run in all competitions against Burnley (W8 D1), although the last two meetings here finished 2-1 to Arsenal.
- In last five home games, Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets but haven’t conceded more than one goal in the other games.
- Four of Chris Wood’s nine goals for Burnley this season has come from headers.
- Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka has made the second most passes by a player this season, passing the ball 2,899 times.
- Burnley’s Ashley Barnes has picked up 10 yellow cards, a joint league high this season alongside Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure.
- Both teams have scored one goal from a free kick this season but are also yet to score a goal on counter attack.
- Burnley have made the most blocks this season, managing to stop 182 shots.
- Burnley have played the most long balls this season, using this tactic 2,879 times compared to Arsenal who have the second lowest total of 1,840.
- When Arsene Wenger made his debut in a 0-0 draw with Coventry, Sean Dyche was playing for Chesterfield in a 1-0 win over Crewe down in the third tier.
Where can game be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||Arsenal (home)||Burnley (away)|
|Shots on Target||7.67||3.28|
|Goals per First Half %||42.9||45|
|Goals per Second Half %||57.1||55|
Expect Arsenal to dominate this because they are simply superior all over the pitch.
With Burnley, like their season it’s a surprise to see them average two yellow cards per away game but not see red.
Arsenal are that strong, the only way that Burnley probably can win this is to make their better goal per first half average count then grab another in second half.
Like with Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell home game back in 2013 against Swansea City, I can see just one winner here and Arsenal’s current home form is a key reason as to why I am backing them here.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Burnley
Jake predicts: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
Result: Arsenal 5-0 Burnley