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Arsenal are our visitors tomorrow and that brings the Premier League’s longest serving manager Arsène Wenger to Turf Moor for the sixth time since he became Arsenal boss in 1996.

He had to wait until 2008 for his first visit; then we played them in each of the two major cup competitions, losing the FA Cup tie in January but beating them in the League Cup later in the year. In the Premier League, he’s secured one draw and two wins for Arsenal at our ground.

This time we face each other with us both having won 22 points. Most would have expected Arsenal to be up there; not so much us, and Wenger said in an interview with his club’s website: “They are the surprise package because before the season if you asked 100 people if Burnley would have 22 points at this stage of the season, 90 would have said no, and the other 10 would have been Burnley supporters.

“So, overall, they have done extremely well. They benefit from the fact that Sean Dyche has done an outstanding job but also from the stability in their team. They know each other for years now and that is why they are a difficult proposal for anyone now.”

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He added: “Turf Moor is a very difficult place to go for everybody. I believe that their capacity to be efficient with a restricted possession as well (is a very big strength). They have won games with 25% or 30% possession, that means they are calm, they know what to do and they are patient with that killing instinct of a snake. They put you to their face and then they bite you.”

Sean Dyche was equally positive about Arsenal and Wenger. “They are a fine side with a brilliant manager,” he said.

“We have spoken many times about the big challenges throughout a season. They can come in all different ways in the Premier League, as we know, but it’s fair to say there’s a group of clubs at the very top who will always be looked upon, or certainly in recent times looked upon, as the main big games of the season. I think Arsenal, without a shadow of a doubt, fit into that, and particularly at Turf Moor.

“You have to stay focused all the time, that’s the biggest thing, because they can pounce and hurt you at any time. We were unfortunate last season, the two games, home and away. I thought we played very well in both and two big decisions went against us.”

He added: “I’m really pleased with how the team is performing at the moment, but there is still a lot of work to be done and we continue to work at the details in our performances.”

Dyche also had some good news on Dean Marney. “Deano is doing great. He’s in front of the timescales,” he said yesterday. “I spoke to him this week about bearing in mind that he is in front of the timescales so don’t be in a crazy rush to get back.” Significantly, he added: “He’s training with us full on all the time now.”

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