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
Getty

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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  • 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
Getty Images - Getty

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
Getty Images

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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