Arsenal vs Blackburn: Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal welcome Blackburn Rovers to the Emirates this Saturday looking to secure their first win of 2012. Here’s team news, likely line-ups and predicted score.
Arsenal get their fifth opportunity to pick up their first win of 2012 on Saturday, as they welcome Blackburn Rovers to the Emirates. Three defeats and one draw so far this year. 1 point from 12 and sitting in seventh place in the league. Truly terrible form from the Gunners.
The good news is despite these results, we’re only five points off fourth-placed Chelsea, who play Man Utd on Sunday, so a win over Blackburn is a MUST. But victories over Fulham, Swansea and Bolton were also vital, and we failed on those occasions to pick up the three points.
With Bacary Sagna’s return, i thought we looked pretty good at the back against Bolton and i’m quietly confident our defence will be more solid if we can keep the players fit (that’s a big ‘IF’, i know). Scoring goals has been our problem of late, and i wrote an article on the subject yesterday, check it out when you have a minute.
A home tie against a struggling Blackburn side provides a great opportunity to put things right, but it’s up to the players to take responsibility and put the bloody ball in the net. Too many missed chances have cost us lately.
Arsene Wenger told Arsenal.com this morning that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a doubt for the game with a knee injury. It’s not thought to be serious but it may well be enough to keep him out the starting eleven. Especially as Wenger hinted he may make changes for the game.
Kieran Gibbs will continue his comeback with an outing for the reserves, so is still short of fitness to make a first team return. Marouanne Chamakh is due back from the African Cup of Nations shortly but won’t take part tomorrow. Other than that, there are no more injury concerns and none of the long-term casualties are due back.
Blackburn will be without defender Chris Samba, with Steve Kean confirming to Sky Sports their captain will not take part despite being fully-fit.
New Blackburn signings Bradley Orr and Marcus Olsson are available and may make their debuts. Top-scorer Yakubu serves his final game of a three-match ban while fellow striker David Goodwille is struggling with (man)flu.
This isn’t the Arsenal team i think Wenger will necessarily pick, it’s the side i would like to see him pick. Ramsey is simply not performing in the attacking midfield role. It’s not his fault, he’s not a play-maker but is being forced to play there. Time to try something different i think, and Arshavin is more of a threat when he plays in the middle.
The defence picks itself as do Arteta and Song. I hope Chamberlain is fit to start because he deserves a run in the team. Walcott’s inclusion is slightly more contentious as he’s been really poor of late. But he seems to like playing Blackburn and has scored a few against them in recent meetings, so let’s give him another chance.
However, Wenger says he may shuffle the pack from Bolton and my side has only one change. So you may see Rosicky come in as well, probably in place of either Chamberlain or Walcott.
Time to get our season going. I can only predict an Arsenal win because anything other than that doesn’t bare thinking about. Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn.
Let me know your thoughts for the game in the comments section below…
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