(Reuters) – Burnley will be counting on a bit of fortune in decisions going their way as they look to beat Arsenal for the first time in the Premier League when they meet this weekend, manager Sean Dyche said on Thursday.
Burnley have lost their last 10 matches against Arsenal in all competitions and the London club is the only top flight team Dyche has never taken a point from.
“They are a top side but we’ve shown before we can take points off the top sides,” Dyche told reporters ahead of Saturday’s game. “We’ve had decent performances against Arsenal and probably a couple of harsh decisions have gone against us.
“You need the rub of the green and might need a decision. It might be a bit more measured with VAR (Video Assistant Referee) and you certainly won’t have had the decisions we have had go against us, but when it comes down to it you have to perform.
“They are a good side, the manager (Unai Emery) is tweaking and changing things, and they are slightly more defensive but still have the weapons to open up the game.”
After finishing a creditable seventh in 2017-18, Burnley finished 15th last season after spending a few weeks in the relegation zone, which Dyche said was a wake-up call for his side on how demanding the league was.
“Last year was a real reminder of how tight it is in the Premier League,” Dyche said. “If you are not performing then you get hurt.”
Dyche, however, was happy with his side’s 3-0 win in the season opener against Southampton last weekend and reserved special praise for striker Ashley Barnes who scored twice in seven minutes to take the game away from the south coast club.
“The players have come back clear-minded and with a more powerful edge to their fitness,” he added. “It’s early yet, but it’s nice to at least see that work get you off to a good start.
“(Barnes) has worked very, very hard to bring some success to himself. He is an awkward customer and has learnt the game. We want him to continue pushing himself and help the team.”
Dyche also said Chelsea loanee Danny Drinkwater is not yet fit to start, while Robbie Brady would also miss the trip with a rib injury.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes)