Blackburn V Arsenal
Saturday 13th January 2007
Arsenal go up North again on Saturday looking to continue their recent run of good results. The Gunners have scored thirteen goals in their last four games, including 6 in the League Cup at Anfield on Tuesday.
Arsenal`s form has been inconsistent at best this season, with defeats at Fulham, Bolton and Sheffield United among the worst of them. It was feared by some Gooners that Arsenal`s season would fall apart after the dismal performance at Brammel Lane but that has not been the case.
A 4-0 victory at home over Charlton in the Premiership along with 3-1 and 6-3 victories over Liverpool in the FA Cup and League cup respectively has given Arsenal fans a reason to believe again.
Le Boss on the sort of game Arsenal can expect when they travel to Blackburn: 'They are still very committed. You do not expect to go up there on the motorway with nobody on the road. It will be congested but we are prepared for that, we know what we will meet.
'But Blackburn are also a side which plays good football. You cannot play Tugay in your team and not play football. They have good players - Bentley, Savage, Pedersen, Tugay, McCarthy, Nonda - they all try to play.
"You expect commitment because that's normal for the Premier League but you expect as well quality in their game.'
Blackburn manager Mark Hughes: 'Arsenal are in fantastic form and they are a fantastic side whoever they pick.
'But we had a great result against them last season (they won 1-0) and I think they have a healthy respect for us.'
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Benni McCarthy, Robbie Savage, Brett Emerton and Shabani Nonda all return from injuries while Lucas Neil returns from a suspension.
David Bentley will serve a suspension.
Player to watch: Benni McCarthy:
The former Porto striker has reproduced the goals that fired Porto to Champions League glory 3 seasons ago.
He is Blackburn's top scorer this season so Toure and Co will have to be on red alert to stop him.
Arsenal Team News:
Abou Diaby and Manu Adebayor return to the squad. Ljungberg, Gallas, Lauren and Eboue are all injured.
Alidiere and The Beast are both pushing for a starting role after both impressed against Liverpool in midweek.
Player to watch: Thierry Henry
The return of Le God couldn't have come at a better time for Arseanl with fixture congestion, the Champions League coming up and injuries to other strikers.
He has looked as sharp as ever after his rest 2 goals in 2 games since he returned and I expect a goal or 2 on Saturday.
It was a game to behold last time these 2 teams met. Blackburn took an early lead through a Nonda penalty but The Arsenal came back to smash Blackburn 6-2.