The gunners will look to get back to winning ways after a poor run has seen them go with no wins in the last four matches in the Premier League. Arteta has rightly stated that the gunners inability to capitalise on numerous chances is simply not good enough and no doubt we all hope it doesn’t become more of a recurring theme than it already is.
Arsenal have been rocked by the virtual confirmation that young star Jack Wilshere is out for the season following a stress fracture sustained in training. The good news is that it is not a recurrence of his original injury, but to lose him for the season is a big blow and one would have felt he could have brought much more to midfield if he could have made his original scheduled return.
On the positive side, the return of Bacary Sagna is a huge positive to Arsenal’s defence as we finally see a natural full-back return to the back four. Arsenal have been operating with makeshift full-backs for the previous couple of months with a mixture of Miquel, Coquelin, Djourou and Yennaris having a go at left and right-back. Sagna’s return against Bolton yielded positive results with a clean-sheet and hopefully he can continue his solid comeback.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted at the possibilty that he may use the chance to rotate the side against a Blackburn team that is languishing at the bottom end of the table and without key players. It is likely that Van Persie and particularly Chamberlain will be rested after Wenger confirmed he got a knock to his knee against Bolton.
In terms of the opposition, Blackburn first-team has taken a huge hit with the dropping of Chris Samba due to his inability to commit 100% to the team after being denied a transfer request and also the suspension of Blackburn’s most potent attacker this season Yakubu. The absence of these players should prove to make the contest much easier for Arsenal, although I have said this before.
It is imperative that the gunners get maximum points tonight after having a horrendous last few weeks in terms of the Premier League. The most important thing in this fixture is that the gunners take the chances they create and if they do that they should have a comfortable victory.
on the latest team news…
We have a little problem with Oxlade-Chamberlain that we have to check today [Friday] because his knee jarred a little bit and we will see how he has recovered from it. All of the other players look alright.
on making changes for Saturday…
A little bit yes because we gave a lot on Sunday against Villa and gave a lot against Bolton on Wednesday. I am thinking about it at the moment, yes.
on Kieran Gibbs…
Gibbs is nearly ready but what he lacks a little bit is confidence. He has not played since the beginning of October. He had two surgeries so I will have a little chat with him. He maybe needs a game with the reserves, I do not know yet.
Arsenal – Robin van Persie – The Dutchman has been in fine form in recent weeks and was unluckily denied last week twice by the wood-work and a header cleared off the line.
Aston Villa – David Hoilett – The young Englishman caused Arsenal’s defence many problems the last time this two sides met and will look to use his pace and trickery to get in behind the Arsenal defence.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen (c)
Walcott Ramsey Arshavin
Arsenal to win:
Bet365, Paddypower & Skybet are all offering odds of 2/7 for the Gunners at the Emirates.
All three of the above betting companies are also offering the same odds at 9/2
Blackburn to win:
Bet365 are paying out 10/1 odds for Blackburn to win away from home
allArsenal’s Special Bet:
allArsenal’s Special Bet: Halftime/Fulltime = Arsenal/Arsenal =8/11
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