Arsenal vs Burnley: David Luiz vs Ashley Barnes and the key battles which could decide Premier League clash

16 Aug

Arsenal and Burnley will be looking to continue their perfect starts to the 2019/20 Premier League season when meet this Saturday lunchtime.

The Gunners began the new campaign with a narrow win at Newcastle, while the Clarets were hugely impressive as they got the better of Southampton at Turf Moor.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winning goal for Arsenal at St James’ Park
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You can listen to commentary of the match at the Emirates Stadium LIVE on talkSPORT from 12:30pm as part of our three-match coverage on GameDay.

It looked set to be a season of struggle for Unai Emery’s men, however, some late business in the transfer window has led to a fresh wave of optimism at the club.


 


The likes of Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz have walked through the door at Arsenal to give their squad some added freshness.

Meanwhile, Sean Dyche’s side will be feeling good going into the game off the back of their 3-0 triumph over Saints and will be eager to beat Arsenal for the first time in over ten years.

But where will the game be won and lost? talkSPORT.com has identified THREE key battles which could decide how things go between Arsenal and Burnley.

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talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here's what's coming up this weekend...

  • Arsenal vs Burnley (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Sunderland vs Portsmouth (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Norwich City vs Newcastle United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 5.30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Reading vs Cardiff City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

David Luiz vs Ashley Barnes

It’s likely Arsenal will hand centre-back Luiz his debut for the Gunners, who were in desperate need of improving their defence this summer.

Burnley at home is arguably an ideal time to give a new signing a run-out although there are no easy games in the Premier League.

Luiz is likely to come up against a striker in Barnes who will be feeling very confident going into the game.

Luiz joined Arsenal from Chelsea for £8million
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Barnes scored a brace in the win over Southampton and he will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Luiz, who is sometimes erratic in defence.

The striker could also latch himself onto Luiz’s likely centre-back partner Sokratis Papastathopolous, who has his limitations.

However, if Arsenal’s defence can keep Barnes and Chris Wood quiet then it’ll be a long afternoon for Burnley.

Barnes goes into the game in good form

Nicolas Pepe vs Erik Pieters

Arsenal fans will be looking forward to seeing just what £72million signing Pepe can do for the club and it’s likely he’ll start this game.

The winger, 24, arrives from Lille with plenty of pedigree and Burnley left-back Pieters will have to be at the very top of his game to keep Pepe quiet.

It’s likely midfielders including Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork will track back to help Pieters out but as Pepe can also play on the left, Matthew Lowton may have to keep an eye on him too.

Pepe is likely to be a part of a dynamic front three with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette so it’ll be interesting to see how well they play together in their first outing.

If the trio are firing then the Clarets will have their work cut out.

Dani Ceballos vs Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork

Another new signing who could make his full Arsenal debut is midfielder Ceballos, who has joined on a season-long loan at Real Madrid.

Ceballos came on in the 64th minute against Newcastle but the Burnley game is likely to give Gooners a better idea of what they can look forward to over the next nine months.

Determined to stop the Spaniard from having a day to remember are Westwood and Cork, who are likely to be Burnley’s pairing in central midfield.

Don’t be surprised to see the two rough Ceballos up a bit during the early stages, especially because his experience with the physicality of English football is limited.

Ceballos could make his full Premier League debut on Saturday
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He’ll need the likes of Granit Xhaka or Matteo Guendouzi to protect him but if Ceballos can get some space and feed that potentially dangerous front line, then it should be an easy enough day for Arsenal.



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Every Premier League club’s Player of the Year award winner, so far

14 May

The Premier League season may have been done and dusted for over a week now but clubs are still naming the winners of their Player of the Year awards.

Some aren’t too surprising with the usual superstars having smashing seasons, but a few men have risen to the top and become shock heroes at their sides.

No one would have expected Ryan Fraser to bag 14 assists, while Luke Shaw established himself as a regular at Old Trafford, there was even shock among Tottenham Hotspur fans that Heung-Min Son won their accolade and not the rejuvenated Moussa Sissoko.

Luke Shaw has been an ever-present in Man United’s defence this season
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The duo, though, have done well this campaign and now earned the rewards for it.

It’s not just the PFA’s Player of the Year award that matters, the individual club honours mean a lot to recipients who are being credited for their consistent excellence over a single year.

But who are each Premier League club’s Player of the Year winners from the 2018/19 season? Find out below.

AFC Bournemouth – Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser’s form has seen him linked with Arsenal
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Fraser would have had strong competition from Callum Wilson, but he has deservedly picked up the prize. The Scotland international has been in remarkable form this season, scoring seven goals and registering 14 assists in the Premier League.

Only Eden Hazard (15) has supplied more goals for his team-mates than the winger. Fraser, who has just one year left on his contract, has been linked with a summer move to Arsenal.

Arsenal – Alexandre Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette will be hoping to lead Arsenal to Europa League glory later this month
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Lacazette has enjoyed a prolific season with Arsenal, netting 18 goals in all competitions. And despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being the club’s top scorer with 26 goals, Arsenal fans believe Lacazette has been their star man this season.

The Frenchman scored three goals across two legs in Arsenal’s successful Europa League semi-final games against Valencia.

Brighton – Shane Duffy

Shane Duffy has helped Brighton secure their Premier League status for a second successive season
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In what’s been a testing season, Brighton’s centre-back partnership of Duffy and Lewis Dunk has helped drag them over the line to Premier League safety.

Duffy, who has chipped in with five goals, has been crucial to the Seagulls’ resolute defence, which helped them earn unlikely draws against Arsenal and Wolves in recent weeks.

Burnley – Ashley Westwood

Ashley Westwood is a regular in Sean Dyche’s side
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Westwood has missed just four Premier League games this season and has been one of Burnley’s standout performers since the turn of the year.

He picked up the club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards.

Cardiff – Neil Etheridge

Neil Etheridge has saved three penalties this season
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A fully deserved award by Cardiff’s goalkeeper in a season which will end in relegation.

Cardiff signed Alex Smithies in a £3.5million deal last summer which could have put Etheridge’s starting place at risk. However, the Philippines international played every minute of the Bluebirds’ Premier League season, which included three penalty saves.

He has also been the second busiest goalkeeper in the top-flight this term, making 141 saves.

Chelsea – Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard is unlikely to be a Chelsea player next season
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Hazard is now a four-time winner of the club’s Player of the Year award. Who else was going to win it?

The Belgium captain, whose last Chelsea game could be against Arsenal in the Europa League final on May on May 29 before sealing a big-money move to Real Madrid, has been in scintillating form this term.

He has scored 19 goals and provided 16 assists for the Blues. If it is his farewell season, he will hope to bow out with a piece of silverware.

Crystal Palace – Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The Premier League’s top clubs are reportedly chasing Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s signature
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This wouldn’t have surprised many Palace fans given Wan-Bissaka’s stunning breakthrough campaign.

He is second and third in the charts for most interceptions and tackles, respectively. His form has reportedly alerted the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City.

At just 21, he will get even better with time.

Everton – Lucas Digne

The left-back has excelled and it’s no mean feat given his predecessor was Toffees hero Leighton Baines. His set-pieces look set to trouble the Premier League for some time.
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Fulham – Yet to be announced

Huddersfield – Christopher Schindler

Christopher Schindler has been a shining light in Huddersfield’s poor season
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It has been a bleak season for Huddersfield, whose relegation to the Championship was confirmed more than six weeks ago.

They have won just three league games and accumulated 15 points. Only Fulham (81) have conceded more goals than Huddersfield (76) this season. Schindler, who scored the winning penalty in the 2017 Championship play-off final, has missed just one game in the 2018/19 campaign.

Leicester – Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo Pereira performances are repaying his £25million fee
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The right-back has been one of Leicester’s most consistent players this season.

In his debut campaign in England, he has netted two goals and registered six assists in 35 Premier League appearances. He will be invaluable for the Foxes next term.

Liverpool – Yet to be announced

Manchester City – Bernardo Silva

In a phenomenal campaign, Silva was the man voted as CIty’s best across the season by supporters. His stunning form in their final few games showed incredible heart and hunger, while also showcasing his fantastic attributes with the ball at his feet.

Manchester United – Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw won the Players’ Player of the Year and the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year awards
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In a season where United conceded 54 league goals – the most of any top-six side in England – it would seem odd to see a defender win this award. However, on a personal note, Shaw has had his best season in a Red Devils shirt.

He was a regular under Jose Mourinho, who had criticised him in the past, and kept his place when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over in December.

The England left-back made 40 appearances, a season-best since joining the club in 2014.

Newcastle United – Salomon Rondon

Newcastle will be desperate to keep Salomon Rondon beyond this season
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It is unusual for a loan player to win a Player of the Year award, but it shows just how vital Rondon has been to Newcastle this season.

His 11 goals and seven assists helped the Magpies retain their Premier League status for a second successive year.

The club will surely try to sign him permanently from West Brom this summer.

Southampton – Nathan Redmond

Nathan Redmond has been a key player for Southampton this season
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Redmond’s season sparked into life following Ralph Hasenhuttl’s appointment as manager in December.

The winger was deployed as a makeshift striker which worked wonders for his form.

Six goals and four assists for the former Norwich man showed just how much he thrived under Hasenhuttl.

Tottenham – Heung-Min Son

Heung-min Son has stepped up for Tottenham in the absence of Harry Kane
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Son has filled the void left by Harry Kane, who has been plagued by ankle injuries in 2019.

Playing as a winger or striker, the South Korea attacker was Spurs’ most dangerous player. Son scored 20 goals and had seven assists to his name in an extremely productive season.

Watford – Etienne Capoue

Etienne Capoue has scored four goals this season
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Capoue had a point to prove after leaving Tottenham for Watford in 2015. He was used sparingly in his two seasons with Spurs and the Hornets gave him a Premier League lifeline.

He has been a consistent presence in the Watford midfield and this season was no different.

The Frenchman has an FA Cup final to look forward to against Manchester City on May 18, which is live on talkSPORT.

West Ham – Lukasz Fabianski

Lukasz Fabianski has endeared himself to West Ham fans
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Fabianski was always going to stay in the Premier League following Swansea’s relegation in the 2017/18 season.

He was snapped up by West Ham for just £7million and played every minute of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.

He was also the busiest goalkeeper, making 148 saves.

Wolves – Joao Moutinho

Joao Moutinho has been a revelation for Wolves and proved he is able to fire in the Premier League after a transfer to Tottenham failed to materialise back in 2012. He’s been key for the club and their Europa League qualification.
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