Thursday, January 3, 2008

Burnley vs. Arsenal: Match Preview

Arsenal travel to the Turf Moor on Sunday to face Championship side Burnley in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Pride of Lancashire, who have been under the management of former Falkirk boss Owen Coyle since late November, will likely face an understrength Arsenal side, as Gunners boss Arsene Wenger tends to blood young players in England's cup competitions.

Burnley, though, will be well aware of the threat, especially after an impressive young Arsenal side defeated Blackburn 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup last month. The Arsenal squad, who's average age was under 20, showed some impressive determination to beat Blackburn in overtime.

Wenger has stated that the squad to face Burnley will be a mix between the fringe players of the Carling Cup and the full squad which are currently in first place in the Premier League.

Jens Lehmann, who has long been linked with a move away from Arsenal, has been tipped by Wenger to be involved in the clash.

Arsene Wenger was tight lipped about the rest of his squad, although Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue, who will leave soon after the match for the African Cup of Nations, are set to feature along with Bacary Sagna.

"I can’t really tell you too much about the team at the moment because I have to check my players," said Wenger.

"I think Jens Lehmann will be involved. But Kolo Toure, Eboue and Sagna will all play. A few of the players who featured all over Christmas will be rested and a few will come in. It will be a mixture.

"We do have a little problem with Adebayor on his hamstring but, if really needed, he could play. Robin van Persie is still injured and will not be involved. But it is very short for him now. The next deadline could be Birmingham or just after."

No matter who is involved, Arsenal will be confident of a victory, keeping the Gunners in the competition so they can continue to blood their pool of up and coming talent.