Saturday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Burnley vs. Arsenal (March 6)
Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Burnley celebrates a goal against Leicester.
Burnley vs. Arsenal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -113)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday evening via DraftKings.|
Arsenal looks to keep their good run of form going on Saturday morning when they head to Turf Moor to battle Burnley.
The Clarets got a much-needed 1-1 result against third-place Leicester on Thursday. The result now puts them six points above the drop zone, so another result on Saturday against Arsenal could give them some breathing room in their fight to stay in the top flight.
Burnley pulled off a shocking upset over Arsenal back in December, winning 1-0 at the Emirates. So the Clarets are capable of hanging with the Gunners.
Arsenal picked a huge win on Sunday, beating Leicester 3-1 at the King Power Stadium. What was huge about the win was some of their underperforming players like Pepe and Willian shining.
Mikel Arteta’s men are sitting in 10th place and need to go on a run if they are going to finish inside the top six to qualify for European football. A win over a lowly side like Burnley could be just the ticket for the Gunners to go on a run.
Burnley’s ultra-defensive style of play is very difficult to break down if you aren’t ready for their physical style of play. Trying to play the ball through the middle is almost a death sentence because the Clarets love to clog up the middle of the pitch with their patented 4-4-2 formation.
The 4-4-2 formation allows Burnley to keep eight guys behind the ball and absorb the opponent’s attack while forcing it to play the ball in from out wide.
Essentially, what Burnley is saying to their opponents is “You’re not coming through the middle, so we dare you to try and beat us with crosses into the box.” It was pretty successful against Leicester on Wednesday, holding the Foxes to 1.23 xG and star striker Jamie Vardy to only one shot. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is going to find life pretty difficult up top on Saturday.
However, the problem with Burnley trying to achieve defensive perfection is their offense often suffers, as they’re averaging only 0.87 xG per match. You can see why 70% of Burnley’s matches this season have gone under 2.5 goals.
Arsenal has improved from their terrible start to the season, but it hasn’t been a dramatic turnaround. The Gunners’ offense has improved from only scoring 1.10 xG per match before Christmas to scoring 1.62 xG per match after Christmas. Their defense has maintained the same form, so what’s the reason behind their sudden offensive improvement?
It all centers around their young sensations Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, who have combined for five goals and six assists. However, Smith Rowe is going to miss this match due to injury, which is going to be a blow to Arsenal.
Arteta typically plays out of 4-2-3-1, which is the most common formation in modern football. The formation allows Arsenal to deploy three attacking midfielders going forward, which can overwhelm opposing defenses. However, it does leave the defense exposed if the the two holding midfielders get caught to far up the pitch.
This is exactly what Burnley is going to try to coy Arsenal into doing, so they can hit them on the counter. The Gunners are going to control most of the possession, but trying to breakdown Burnley is going to be a tall task.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Even though Arsenal effectively broke down Leicester’s 4-4-2 last weekend, I think they’re going to have a lot more difficulties with Burnley’s 4-4-2 since they play much more defensive. Therefore, I think the Clarets can hang in this match.
Since I only have Arsenal projected at +104, I’ll back Burnley’s spread of +1 at -129 odds.
Pick: Burnley +1 (-129)