The Gunners will look to extend its 4 match unbeaten run when they host Burnley at the Emirates.
Log leaders Chelsea have taken major strides towards lifting the diadem, and Arsenal understand that anything less than a victory complicates their chances in the chase for the title. They are fourth on the log and two points above rivals Manchester City, and will look to keep up with Chelsea’s pace at the top.
Away last weekend, Arsenal breezed past Swansea, with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud starring with some brilliant solo efforts. Olivier Giroud has particularly been in sublime form, and the Frenchman has rose to notch home some very crucial goals for his side. The competition in the Arsenal forward line is certainly stiffer, with Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez all fit for action.
The Clarets registered a third victory in the last four matches, winning 1-0 against Southampton. Controversial midfielder Joey Barton made the headlines, with a stunning return to the Turf Moor.
Burnley has been defensive and in the first leg, they frustrated Arsenal. That is unlikely to happen as Arsenal has lots of attacking options and can either decide to press harder or slow it down. Playing at home, and with the rest of the chasing pack separated by just few points, Arsenal cannot afford to lose this one, and we expect them to go for maximum points.
Chelsea vs Hull City
League leaders Chelsea will look to build on their good start when they host minnows Hull City.
Hull was lucky to find its way past AFC Bournemouth last weekend, but playing at the Stamford Bridge will be a tough assignment. Going for three points is a near mission impossible for the Tigers.
The Blues are at 52 points while Hull is struggling at 16. The league new comers are one of three sides flirting with relegation, and a loss here makes their exit from the league more imminent. Newly installed coach Marco Silva has an unlikely task of keeping his side afloat, and a trip to Chelsea is the last thing he would have bargained for.
The Blues are in excellent form. Unsettled Diego Costa was away as Chelsea took on Leicester. There is little to suggest that the Spaniard was missed, as his side rose to deliver stellar performance that saw them win 3-0. Costa is back to training, and this pumps more firepower in Chelsea’s attack options.
Everything is working in Chelsea’s favour currently, and Antonio Conte has a fully fit squad at his disposal. Tough one for Hull City who should collect the ball from their net at least thrice.
Cameroon vs Gabon
This wasn't the script. The hosts Gabon were expected to be among the first men to qualify for the knockouts and uplift the spirits of a nation so low, staring at political turmoil and economic troubles.
Five years ago, as co-hosts Gabon reached the knockouts, and this year they were expected to surpass that fete. The possibility of elimination is evident, as a loss on Sunday to Cameroon, will all but seal Gabon’s fate.
Two straight draws against Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau have made Gabon go back to the drawing board, and hope they can run over Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions top Group A and will look to ease to the next round with a humiliation of the hosts.
Gabon, led by the nation’s poster boy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, have been misfiring, and will look to get their scoring boots and finish the business early on Sunday, Gabon coach Camacho has expressed confidence saying, “Ivory Coast won the last Africa Cup of Nations after drawing their opening two games, and we can qualify and win the tourney if we beat Cameroon.”
Cameroon is a formidable side, and one of those tipped to go all the way. The West African nation still oozes of class, and in a key decider like this one, you cannot just blow them away. With 4 points, they can afford a draw, hence we expect Cameroon to release the foot off the pedal and preserve some energy for the next round.
Gabon will certainly rely on Aubameyang’s magic and faith which will certainly keep them in the tournament. At least for now.