Arteta praises fans after Arsenal win
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Arsenal finally got their first points on the board last weekend against Norwich City, although their narrow 1-0 victory has not got them out of the woods just yet. A slightly trickier tie against Burnley awaits on Saturday, and Mikel Arteta has three players who did not start last time out that could fire the Gunners towards a more convincing victory.
After seeing nine goals fly past them during the first three Premier League games of the season, fans will be overjoyed that Arsenal kept a clean sheet against Norwich.
A surprise opportunity for Aaron Ramsdale in goal was grasped with both hands, while a new centre-back pairing of Gabriel and Ben White seemed to work well.
Takehiro Tomiyasu played with intensity at right-back, something the Gunners have lacked in recent games, meaning Arteta’s main headaches lie in midfield and attack.
Luckily for him, there were three stars, either absent or on the bench, who could cause Burnley problems this weekend. Express Sport takes a look at those players in question.
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With Partey beginning the season injured, it has been left to the likes of Albert Sambi-Lokonga, Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to hold down the fort in midfield.
During Thursday’s press conference, Arteta confirmed that the Ghanian has been back in training, and a decision will be made about whether he plays this weekend.
His ball-carrying ability and tendency to look for forward passes could be invaluable for the Gunners when trying to break down a resilient Burnley side.
When on song, he has the potential to be Arsenal’s best midfield option, although fans have not seen that side of him often enough yet.
Although the youngster does not have a goal or assist to show for it, Smith-Rowe has been one the Gunners’ star performers so far this season.
Burnley are experts at keeping talented sides at bay with well-drilled defending, so the man they call ‘the Croydon De Bruyne’ could be the ideal man to provide an element of unpredictability.
The arrival of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid has perhaps landed him with an unjustified fight to keep his position behind the striker, but it could also force him to find a higher gear.
He was handed the prestigious No 10 shirt at the start of the campaign, possessing the raw talent to be the creative spark Arsenal need to get the goals flowing.
The young Brazilian was one of Arsenal’s brightest young goal-scorers before a long-term knee injury hampered his progress just over a year ago.
It is hard to fathom that he is still only 20-years-old, given that he burst onto the scene by scoring 10 goals in all competitions two seasons ago.
Although his preferred positions up top and on the left are taken by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka respectively, Nicolas Pepe could be expendable on the right after Arteta was left visibly frustrated with some of his decisions against Norwich.
If Martinelli is able to rediscover his best form, Arsenal have the kind of talent on their hands who can completely rejuvenate their attack.
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