Arsenal vs. Blackburn Rovers Preview

Barclays Premier League

Football
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Published: 02/02/2012

Arsenal host Blackburn Rovers in the Barclays Premier League on February 4 in what will be a must win affair for the Gunners if they are to keep alive their fading hopes of a fourth place finish and Champions League qualification.

Missing out on reaching Europeís elite competition would be a Ďdisasterí according to boss Arsene Wenger and it is easy to see why, with the North Londoners already struggling to keep tabs on clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City who they used to be on a level playing field with.

A shortage of financial backing and spending has left Arsenal a world away from the clubs who they now trail and a potential lack of funding and appeal from failing to reach the Champions League next season would ultimately add to their woes.

Arsenalís deficit behind Chelsea currently stands at five points and they can afford little room for mistakes from this match onwards after back to back defeats against Swansea City and the Red Devils.

Revenge will also be on the agenda for the hosts as they seek to overturn a 4-3 loss in the reverse fixture earlier on in the campaign, a result which ultimately saved Roverís boss Steve Keanís job.

Although Blackburnís success on that day did much to stem the tide at Ewood Park, the club has subsequently failed to build consistently on that result and take any real confidence forward.

Despite other unexpected highlights including a remarkable 2-3 success at Old Trafford, Blackburn are still locked in the relegation zone and are struggling to find a way past the teams around them.

Arsenal are by far a daunting proposition at the moment, nevertheless it seems unlikely that the Lancastrians will be able to get out of trouble just yet.

Blackburn earned their superb win over Arsenal by taking the game to their opponents however that game plan is likely to be far more difficult away from home.

The core of Arsenalís squad is still packed full of quality and this looks an ideal opportunity for Wenger and his men to get back on track and restore some degree of pride.

On the whole, Arsenalís league form at the Emirates has been solid and a victory against Blackburn would be their eighth of the campaign at home.

With Blackburnís porous defence having already conceded 45 goals in just 22 games, they look set to add to that tally and put some kind of pressure on Chelsea in the race for fourth place.

Wingers Gervinho and Walcott should be allowed a huge amount of freedom and can create enough chances for the likes of Van Persie and the returning Henry to put away.

3/10 is no price whatsoever considering how untrustworthy the Gunners have been this season however they should prove too strong within the opening exchanges and a half time/full time wager at around 4/6 makes more appeal.


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