Wounded Gunners out to bounce back in league


ARSENAL carved out a comfortable win over Sevilla in the Uefa Champions League to leave them on the threshold of qualifying for the last 16 from Group B.

But their narrow defeat at the hands of Newcastle last weekend still hurts, and they’ll be keen on atonement when they meet Burnley in the Premiership today.

The victory at the Emirates Stadium in midweek would have lifted their spirits but it did come at what could prove to be a high price to pay.

Mikel Arteta saw his star winger Bukayo Saka limp off the pitch. At the time of writing, it is still unclear whether the England international will be in the squad for Burnley’s visit.

Leandro Trossard might get a call to start against the Clarets, now managed by Vincent Kompany, a former Manchester City defender and captain.

Arsenal have slipped to fourth in the league standings after spending much of this early part of the campaign tied at the top with Tottenham, who themselves have conceded ground to Manchester City.

It won’t be far from Arsenal’s mind that they led the league for much of the last campaign, only to see City pip them for the title at the end. Thus, Arsenal will likely keep the champions in sight and not want to fall too far behind,.

Spaniard boss Arteta does have a reasonably strong squad capable of challenging for the crown.

His team, however, has been set back by injuries. With Saka a big worry, Arsenal are also assessing the fitness of Emile Smith Rowe, captain Martin Odegaard and Edward Nketiah ahead of Burnley’s trip to London.

Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus have been sidelined long term, causing further worry.

The manager will have to get on with the job with what he has at his disposal. One feels that even with a side depleted by injuries, they should still see off Burnley and keep up with the top four.

As for Spurs, they are hoping to bounce back to winning ways against Wolverhampton Wanderers after conceding the top spot in the league to City.

Australian manager Ange Postecoglou saw his Tottenham side ambushed in a 1-4 loss to Chelsea. But given the talent of his squad, they should get past Wolves.

It might not be that simple for Manchester United. Wounded by a 3-4 defeat at FC Copenhagen in midweek, many will expect Erik ten Hag’s team to beat Luton. But they might not.

This Manchester United side won with a last-gasp Bruno Fernandes goal at Fulham last weekend. If they were to try something like that again, it might not work out for them.

They led Copenhagen 2-0 before losing the match – that’s how weak this Man United side is and has been for some time.

Indeed, a draw might not be a bad result for either side.

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