Arsenal and Burnley going opposite ways, if only in the short-term
There’s not a great deal left to play for at the top end of the Premier League.
Manchester City have long been proprietors of the title. While Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur look to have the remaining Champions League places sewn up.
Chelsea, too, have anchored themselves in fifth and show little sign of moving.
So that leaves the battle for sixth spot as the most intriguing fight outside the bottom-half.
And while it’s Arsenal who currently hold the advantage, there’s a real chance that Burnley could finish above the Gunners for the first time since 1975.
Sean Dyche’s men have been excellent this season. Unlike the North Londoners, they know what they’re good at it and usually execute their game plan to perfection.
Last season the Clarets took until the end of April to claim their first away win.
This time around they’ve clocked up seven victories on the road and have the division’s sixth-best record away from their own patch.
Arsenal, by contrast, rarely look confident or competent away from home surroundings.
The Gunners have not collected an away point in 2018. Tamworth, 21st in the National League North, have the next worst record on the road in the calendar year.
While Burnley have shown significant signs of progression, Arsene Wenger’s men are showing signs of regression.
Dyche’s charges have also developed into something of a streaky team.
The Lancashire side won six matches out of eight earlier in the campaign. They then went 12 matches without a win in all competitions.
Currently, they’re on a sequence of five straight victories which shows little sign of slowing down.
Fixtures at home to Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion and AFC Bournemouth will hold no fear for the Turf Moor outfit.
A trip to beleaguered Stoke City should also herald three points at the weekend based on the recent form of the two sides.
It’s easy to see the Clarets taking a maximum haul from those fixtures, or at least traversing them unbeaten.
They also have Jon Walters and Tom Heaton back among the squad after long-term injury lay-offs.
So that makes a trip to the Emirates Stadium on the 6th of May an interesting prospect. The way both sides are playing, that could be the defining factor in who clinches sixth spot.
Wenger’s men also face trips to Leicester City and Manchester United before the end of the season.
Taking into account Arsenal’s recent away form, we think that could give Dyche and co a significant advantage in the race for sixth.
Burnley take on Chelsea at Turf Moor on Thursday night. The Clarets are 10/3 for victory under the lights.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing