Morning all.

It’s been another week of football which has seen the officials hitting the headline. For both Arsenal and Man City, European fixtures passed without too much fuss as both clubs won their games comfortably. I think Sevilla registered just the one shot on target throughout the game which says a lot about the way Arsenal played. For Man Utd, Newcastle and Liverpool, it was a clean sweep of defeats. Utd surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 4-3 after Rashford was ‘controversially’ sent off, Newcastle were beaten by Borussia Dortmund and then last night, Liverpool were beaten by Toulouse. Villa and Brighton however won their respective matches. The longer all three remain in the Europa League, the better it is for the Premier League. At least I think it is.

Today we face Burnley. Two ex Man City men going head to head, one who played under Pep Guardiola, the other learning his coaching skills. Vincent Kompany and his team/squad have found life in the Premier League hard so far with just 4 points earned from the opening 11 matches. One win away against Luton Town, the other point came from a draw against Nottingham Forest.

Mikel Arteta on Burnley:

Looking back on the games they have played and the results they’ve got, in some of them they merited much more than what they got. I don’t think it reflects actually what they deserved in games. But that is the difficulty of this league. Sometimes when you deserve more you don’t get it because the quality of the oppositions is so high. But the way they have transformed their way of playing, the club, and how they continue to play with the belief that they do, for me it’s remarkable.

I think the same could be said of a number of clubs this season who’ve perhaps played a lot better than their results suggest. If there was one game I think about it’s our match against Crystal Palace. Boy did Mikel Arteta’s team have to work hard to win that one after Takehiro Tomiyasu was shown two yellow cards, the second being an absolute joke! Ayew really conned the ref then. Fulham, another game we huffed and puffed a bit. 1-0 down to 2-1 up and then to concede an equaliser against ten men was pretty grim. That’s not a moan by the way, just a reminder that despite where a club might sit on the league table, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be a pushover. Having checked the stats for Burnley’s last game, a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, Burnley had 68% possession, 14 shots on goal and yet lost.

Team News from Mikel Arteta:

We have a few. A few are still in contention. We need to give them 24 more hours to give them a chance to be involved in the game, but we won’t know anything until tomorrow. Timber is for sure not. Thomas Partey is for sure out and probably Emile is out. There might be a few more.

The doubts are Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka, two of whom have been selected for their respective countries for the upcoming internationals but if they don’t play today, I’d imagine both will remain in London for the next couple of weeks. No mention of Gabriel Jesus though so perhaps he’ll make an earlier than expected return.

Arsenal’s Adrian Clarke, writing in the matchday programme:

Kompany has tinkered with Burnley’s shape in recent weeks as he continues his search for a winning formula. The return of Cullen should see them revert to a 4-3-3, but with no set formation they could line up in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2. Full-backs Charlie Taylor and Vitinho invert into central midfield during the build-up phase to help them progress through the thirds. The Clarets are prepared to take risks to fashion overloads that allow them to break the lines with their passing, but too often they have lost the ball inside their own half and been punished.

They have also been guilty of dropping off too deep when put under pressure, and have conceded eight goals from outside the box – more than any other Premier League side. On the ball they are patient, but being direct is not off the menu. They make 54.7 ‘long passes’ per game, and just four Premier League sides average more. Most of their forays forward head towards the flanks where they rely on individual magic from their clutch of talented wingers, including Luca Koleosho

One would expect to see a top notch performance from Arsenal today, especially in front of The Emirates faithful. Thinking outside the box, Oleksandr Zinchenko is very good in midfield so how about starting him alongside Declan Rice if our captain is ruled out? He might not be the tallest but neither was Santi Cazorla and he did alright didn’t he? There’s a plan D right there. Mikel Arteta called Miguel Azeez into first team training yesterday, now there’s a name I’ve not heard for a while. He’s still only 21 years old so plenty of football ahead for him and who knows, if players keep dropping like flies, his chance in the first team might not be that far away.

Catch up in the comments.