7th. Winless in 2012. 5 points behind the Champions League places. The facts make for grim reading for Arsenal fans. If the Gunners are looking to have a strong finish to the season then there is no better time to start it than this weekend.
Arsenal’s have tough fixtures against Sunderland and Liverpool ahead. With points in these games by no means guaranteed, it makes picking up the relatively easy points all the more vital.
Arsene has already said it would be disastrous for the club to miss out on the C.L for the first time under his reign. The 5 point gap to Chelsea is certainly not insurmountable, but anything other than a win in this match and that gap may open further. All-in-all it makes this Saturday’s match a must win.
At the other end of the table the match is probably even more important for Blackburn, where Steve Kean miraculously still holds on to his job. I would say this match may be make or break for Kean, but to be honest we’ve been saying that for months and Kean is still standing.
However, it may be more make or break for Rovers, who run the risk of losing touch on an improving Bolton, and a refurbished QPR. If a gap opened up between Rovers and 17th spot now, it would be tough for them to close it.
Blackburn actually won the team’s previous encounter this season, and they are undefeated away from home in their last 3 games. Not great form, but not bad either. Then again Arsenal have not lost this fixture at home since 2002, and will be hoping to prove a point with a confident performance.
Arsenal will be missing Oxlade-Chamberlain for this match, and will likely replace him with Rosicky (although personally I’m hoping for Park to get a chance). Blackburn will be without the banned Yakubu, and will instead rely on Goodwillie or Hoillet for goals.
However much we discuss it or look at form, or statistics, Arsenal are still Arsenal and Blackburn are still 18th. Arsenal will win, but in a low-key fashion. Also, despite the loss Kean still holds incriminating photos of the Venkys and therefore keeps his job. 2-0
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