Arsenal will try to climb out of seventh place in the English Premier League standings on Fec. 4 when they take on 18th-place Blackburn at home at the Emirates Stadium. It might look like a mismatch on paper, but Blackburn edged the Gunners 4-3 earlier in the season at home at Ewood Park. Arsenal needs the points in a bad way if they want to reach fourth place in the league and a berth in next season’s Champions League and Blackburn needs as many points as possible to avoid relegation this season.
Arsenal has 37 points from 11 wins, four draws and eight losses and is winless in their last four league games with three losses and a draw. They’re five points behind fourth-place Chelsea. Blackburn has just four wins, six draws and 13 defeats for 18 points and is only three ahead of last place and two points behind 17th place Bolton. Arsenal last played on Wednesday and was held to a 0-0 draw at Bolton while Blackburn was beaten 2-0 at home by Newcastle although they had created numerous chances to score.
Blackburn will start the game off behind the eight ball as their top scorer Yakubu will miss the match as he’s sitting out the third and final game of his suspension for receiving a red card. They’ll likely play Anthony Modeste, who was signed in the January transfer window from Bordeaux, up front. They’ll likely also be playing without defender Chris Samba, who wanted to leave the team during the window.
Arsenal is starting to get some of its injured players back and Bacary Sagna should be in the squad. However, Jack Wilshere has a fractured ankle and will probably be out for the rest of the campaign. Blackburn has allowed 47 goals against this season, second-worst in the league, even though they have one of the EPL’s best goaltenders in Paul Robinson. They’ve been beaten twice by scores of 6-2 during their last five visits to Emirates Stadium, but managed to hang on for a 0-0 draw there last season. Their last win away over Arsenal was in 2002 when they triumphed 2-1.
Arsenal will rely on the league’s top scorer Robin van Persie to lead the offense while Blackburn will be counting on Modeste and David Goodwillie. Van Persie has 10 goals in his last dozen games against Blackburn. Robinson will have to be sharp in goal to keep him off the scoresheet, but he’s been beaten 53 times by Arsenal since the EPL began.
Arsenal v Blackburn Predictions
If Robinson plays as well as he can it’ll be another frustrating game for Arsenal. But look for them to take all three points in a close game, possibly coming out on top by just one goal.
The latest odds of an Arsenal win at sportsbook William Hill are 3/10 while a Blackburn win is 9/1 and a draw is 4/1.