25 Nov Arsene Wenger ready for different kind of challenge against Burnley
Arsene Wenger believes his Arsenal side will be taking on the “most unexpected team” in the Premier League when they travel to Burnley on Sunday.
The Clarets have amassed 22 points from their opening 12 league games – the same amount as Arsenal – who face Sean Dyche’s side at Turf Moor looking to keep in touch with the top four.
Burnley won at champions Chelsea on the opening day of the season and have also taken points from both Liverpool and Tottenham to continue an impressive start to the campaign.
Arsenal head into the game having beaten neighbours Tottenham in last weekend’s north London derby, with Wenger making 11 changes to that side as the Gunners slipped to a 1-0 Europa League defeat at Cologne on Thursday.
The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette are expected to return as Wenger looks for a result against a side that has impressed him so far this year.
Asked whether there was an argument that Burnley have been the most impressive team, he replied: “With the points they have?
“They are the most unexpected team to be there with 22 points. You cannot deny that, of course.
“We have a few (selection) uncertainties but we will have to check that ahead of the game.”
Arsenal played well to beat their local rivals as Shkodran Mustafi and Sanchez struck in a 2-0 win over Spurs.
It showed that Wenger’s side can live with the best teams in the league but the Frenchman is expecting a different challenge in the north-west.
“The intensity of the game was total because both teams went for it,” he said.
“Both teams, every time they won the ball, went forward so the intensity was higher. Every game gives you a different problem to sort out for you to find a strategic solution to be efficient.
“Against Burnley, that will be different. They are a team who maybe play a bit deeper than Tottenham because they have a strong defensive efficiency.
“You have to keep your nerve, even if you have the ball, to be calm and accurate. You have to be defensively strong as well because they are very efficient going forward.”