Chambers starts as Partey returns – Arsenal reporters pick their starting XIs for Burnley clash


Arsenal kick off a crucial run of fixtures with a trick away trip to face Burnley.

The Gunners have a good away record against Sean Dyche’s side, with last year’s 0-0 draw being the first time they have dropped points at Turf Moor in the Premier League.

However, it was the Clarets who came out on top in their most recent meeting when a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang own goal was enough to leave Arsenal in 15th place in the table.

Things have improved significantly since then and Mikel Arteta’s side still have the faintest sniff of a top four push if they are able to start stringing some wins together quickly.

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But with Saturday’s clash being followed by two crucial Europa League Round of 16 legs against Olympiacos either side of the North London Derby Arteta may well be forced to rotate his side.

So who does he pick for the occasion? Here football.london‘s Arsenal reporters Kaya Kaynak and Chris Wheatley reveal who they would chose.

Kaya Kaynak, Arsenal writer

It’s unlikely that Mikel Arteta will be so bold as to rotate Bernd Leno in goal for this match but I’m expecting several players to be rested in the back four.

Mikel Arteta celebrates with Calum Chambers after his side’s 3-2 victory over Benfica in the Europa League (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Kieran Tierney is vital and should not be risked ahead of the games against Olympiacos so I would move Cedric across to left back despite his impressive display against Leicester.

At right back though I would throw something of a curveball and rest Hector Bellerin for the trip to Athens by giving Calum Chambers his first start of the season in the Premier League.

In the middle of the back four I’d keep Pablo Mari for the aerial threat Burnley pose, but then also bring in Rob Holding who feels like one of the few centre backs in the squad who will relish the kind of challenge offered up at Turf Moor.

Thomas Partey needs minutes in his legs before a the triple header of crucial matches so I would start him alongside the indestructible Granit Xhaka.

Again there is no point in risking Bukayo Saka or Emile Smith Rowe who is already a doubt anyway so Odegaard would come in for me while Pepe would start on the right.

I’d love to see Martinelli start despite Willian’s revived performance at the King Power, while Alex Lacazette would continue down the middle for me.

Kaynak’s Arsenal XI: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Pepe, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette.

Chris Wheatley, chief Ardsenal correspondent

Mikel Arteta must have one eye on next week’s Europa League clash against Olympiacos in Greece when picking his team for Saturday’s match at Turf Moor.

Burnley’s physicality has long been talked about and it’s the main reason why I wouldn’t rush Emile Smith Rowe back for this one.

Bernd Leno will start in goal a day after celebrating his 29th birthday, while I would start Hector Bellerin at right-back with a view to playing the impressive Cedric Soares in Piraeus.

Rob Holding could partner Pablo Mari at centre back, with Arsenal needing Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka alongside eachother to move the ball forward.

The attacking options present Arteta with a dilemma and it would make sense for Willian to start his second consecutive league game after his recent match-winning displays against Benfica and Leicester.

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Gabriel Martinelli has rarely played over the past few weeks and he should start ahead of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Wheatley’s Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Pepe, Willian, Martinelli Lacazette.





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