Sokratis backs Aubameyang for 30-goal haul
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Sokratis Papastathopoulos has backed Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to hit 30 Premier League goals by the end of the season.
The Gabon forward scored a brace in Saturday’s 3-1 victory at home to Burnley on Saturday to move above Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as the league’s top goalscorer with 12 strikes to his name.
Aubameyang, 29, moved to the Emirates Stadium last January and has been in fine form since and he continued that as two smart finishes put Unai Emery’s side on course for victory over the Clarets.
Ashley Barnes pulled one back for the visitors before Alex Iwobi wrapped up the points for Arsenal in stoppage time.
But it is Aubameyang, with 22 goals in 31 Premier League games since joining from Borussia Dortmund, who Sokratis feels can continue to impress.
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“I know Auba. I’ve known him for six or seven years,” Sokratis - who also played alongside Aubameyang in Dortmund, told Arsenal’s official website.
“In these games he does it every time, one, two or three goals. I think 30 will happen. I hope that he will win it (the golden boot).”
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Burnley posed a physical challenge to Arsenal, with Barnes arguably lucky to be on the pitch to pull a goal back having been booked and committed further fouls.
Sean Dyche, the Clarets boss, accused Arsenal of diving during the game, while Barnes and Sokratis had an off-the-field tussle following a coming together in the first-half.
“It was a difficult game,” the Greece international defender added.
“Sometimes it was too much, but I don’t think that was my mistake. I just stood up to go from the ball. But it is okay, it’s football, it can happen.
“It was important for us to win three points. Now we have to look forward to the next games.”
Arsenal head to Brighton on Boxing Day, then face their toughest test to date when they visit Liverpool on December 29 in their final outing of 2018.