Friday, May 24, 2024

Burnley preview: To change or not to change

It’s Burnley away at 3pm today, as we look to continue our excellent post-winter break form.

You wouldn’t blame Mikel Arteta if he didn’t feel like changing much from the team that beat West Ham 6-0 last weekend. We had a typically vague fitness update from him at his press conference:

Some of them have been progressing better than others. We have a training session again today, some of them have done a few bits this week and I’m positive that hopefully we’re going to get a few back for tomorrow.

Exactly who, we don’t know at this stage, but the starting XI at the London Stadium did the job very well. Of course, the game plan for Burnley might be a little different to the one for West Ham, tweaked more to who we’re up against today, so that in itself might entail a change or two, but we’ll have to just wait and see on that.

On today’s opposition and Vincent Kompany, who he worked with at Man City, Arteta said:

It was phenomenal, a record season for them and to do that you need to be exceptional at what you do. If not, that doesn’t happen, big credit to him, but it’s the way he can convince people because even when they went through a difficult period, I look at the players, how they behave, the staff, the crowd, they are with him. They follow him and are constantly trying to do what he demands them to do and they’ve been really competitive. In my opinion, they’ve been really unlucky with a lot of the results they’ve had this season.

There’s been a lot of discussion about their style of play and how they stick to their principles etc etc. Which is all well and good, but does there come a point where the dwindling fixture list demands you do something a bit different? In an ordinary season, you’d probably look at Burnley as doomed already, but with the threat of a further points deduction for Everton, and also one for Nottingham Forest, they might have a way of escaping that isn’t entirely in their own hands. Therefore, every potential point is precious, and if approaching games by being a little less open/adventurous gives you a better chance to nick something, is that the right thing to do?

Just the fact that you’re facing a side who are actively fighting relegation can often make life difficult, so that’s something we’ll have to deal with today – regardless of how Burnley approach it. That said, we obliterated West Ham’s farcical attempts at a low block last week, put three past Liverpool, and five beyond Crystal Palace, so the players look to have the confidence and fluency in front of goal to deal with whatever we come up against today.

With Liverpool playing early, and Man City later on, we’re the meat in the title race sandwich for today, and let’s hope we have what it takes to take all three points in what I think might be a trickier game than it looks on paper.

For more on that, check out our preview podcast on Patreon, and you can join us later for live blog coverage and all the post-game stuff on Arseblog News.

Catch you later.

Related articles

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast