Arsenal take on Burnley on the last day of the Premier League season, with some changes expected to the side that will line up at Turf Moor.
Arsenal’s impressive victory over Valencia did take them into the Europa League final, where they will face Chelsea at the end of the month. But, ahead of the trip to Turf Moor to take on Burnley on Sunday, Unai Emery has some concerns emanating from the midweek European fixture.
Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles endured minor knocks at Valencia, but they are believed to be available to start. Maitland-Niles, in particular, has served his suspension after being shown a red card against Leicester City, although if Emery decides to change the system, then Shkodran Mustafi or Stephan Lichtsteiner could play as the right-back.
For the final time this @premierleague season… IT’S MATCHDAY! 👊
Let’s finish with a W 🙌 pic.twitter.com/DabrRcefs0
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 12, 2019
Laurent Koscielny might be rested for this encounter so as to keep him fresh ahead of the Europa League final. Rotations might be in order and in an interview with the club’s official website ahead of Sunday’s match Emery was asked about the possible rotations to his side against a stubborn Burnley side, although the Arsenal boss remained coy on the subject.
“We were very late yesterday. We arrived at 6am and today we cancelled training for today because it’s important to rest. Tomorrow we are going to prepare for Sunday’s match but I am going to decide with the players who are hungry and in good physical condition to play this match.”
Emery might retain the 3-4-1-2 formation, meaning Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Mustafi and Nacho Monreal are expected to man the back-three, with Koscielny indeed being rested. Kolasinac, in that case, would be the only available choice for the left wing-back slot, with Maitland-Niles being deployed on the opposite flank.
Bernd Leno is expected to be back in the side to replace Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal. But, there could be the case that the Arsenal manager decides to give Cech a start in what will be the final Premier League game of his illustrious career.
In midfield, Aaron Ramsey is definitely out, although Emery will be hoping he could call upon the Welshman for the Europa League final, while Denis Suarez’s season is truly over. Granit Xhaka is a sure starter in the middle of the park. As for his partner, the Arsenal gaffer could use this match to let Matteo Guendouzi start in place of Lucas Torreira.
Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are available and ready to start, but we suspect Emery will want to continue with Mesut Ozil, who could play the supplier’s role to central strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.