Friday, 27 August 2010

Blackburn v Arsenal: Big match preview

Blackburn Rovers v Arsenal
Venue: Ewood Park
Kick off: 12.45pm (BST)
TV: Sky Sports 2

Arsenal welcome Denilson back into the squad for the first time this season for the trip to Ewood Park.

The Brazilian has been out with an abdominal injury since pre-season.

And according to my blogging pal over at 7amKickOff, the midfielder has something of a hoodoo over Sam Allardyce, being unbeaten in every match he has played in when Allaydyce was in charge of the opposition.

I would think that the young Brazilian will only make the bench, however.

With Laurent Koscielny back from suspension I think he will return to partner Thomas Vermaelen in defence.

This will allow Alex Song to move into his defensive midfield berth. I can then see Abou Diaby moving forward into the inside left of the midfield and Jack Wilshere dropping to the bench

This is our first big test of the teams we want to be beating if we are going to have any chance of winning the league this season. Blackburn are a big and powerful team, schooled in the Allardyce tactics he used to make Bolton a competitive force.

That's one of the reasons why we have to be strong in midfield. Rosicky has been in excellent form this season and will provide our guile going forward.

I expect Song and Diaby to play in front of the defence and protect them from the strong arm tactics which Allardyce is likely to employ.

It's by  no means going to be an easy game. Rovers lost just three times at home in the league last season and beat us 2-1 in the penultimate game of last season.

We cannot allow that to happen again. We must remain committed throughout. The three points going into the international break will give us good spirit and mean we will keep up with Chelsea, who will no doubt beat Stoke.

Theo Walcott must be our outlet and we should use his good performance last weekend to our advantage.

I can't see Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie starting the game, but I think both will contribute off the bench.

So my Arsenal team would be:


Sagna - Koscielny - Vermaelen - Clichy

Rosicky - Song - Diaby

Walcott - Chamakh - Arshavin

Come on you Gunners!

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