Date: 28th February 2007 at 2:24pm
Written by:

On Sky

Arsenal will be forced to play some of the ‘Carling Cup kids` on Wednesday as they continue their hunt for silverware.

The omens are not good I`m afraid, it`s up north, it`s late, it`s midweek and the forecast is for some rough weather. Injuries to several key players, including Thierry Henry and Tomas Rosicky has also cast major doubts over Arsenal`s chances of qualifying for the next round.

Be not afraid though Arsenal fans, doubts have been cast over Arsenal`s cup kids this season when they have faced Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham and they have come out on top every time.

Arsenal will look to William Gallas, Gilberto and Baptista to lead the youngsters in what is sure to be a physical encounter. Lilly Savage may still be injured but they still have players in the team that like to ‘get stuck in.`

Arsenal should have the physical presence to cope with whatever Blackburn throw at them tonight with Fabregas rested and major doubts over Flamini`s fitness, Denilson looks set to partner Gilberto in an all Brazilian centre-midfield. We all know that Gilberto can handle the rough stuff and Denilson has certainly looked like he can since he came into the team.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger says the most important thing is to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat: ‘For us it is important just to win and to qualify to get positive vibes again after our disappointment on Sunday.

‘The FA Cup is another chance for us to go to another final and win a trophy.’

‘It is another important week, but we want to negotiate it better than we did the last one.’

Mark Hughes is pleased to have an(almost) full squad to choose from: ‘I haven’t had that opportunity on that many occasions this season.

‘People have come back and are fit and it gives me more options. It is all about picking the right combinations.’

Blackburn Team News:

Chris Samba (knee)is Blackburn’s only doubt for the match.

Benni McCarthy returns and is likely to replace Matt Derbyshire as the lone striker.

Player to watch: Benni McCarthy

The former Porto striker has had a fantastic debut season in the Premiership.

He’s scored some important goals including the winner against Liverpool in the League.

Arsenal Team News:

Where do I start? Henry, Diaby, Rosicky, Walcott, Djourou, Hoyte and Van Persie are all out injured while Flamini is a major doubt.

Toure and Adebayor are alos out as they start their 3-match bans.

Player to watch: Aliadiere

The Frenchman has been in good form in the last 8 weeks, espically in cup competitions. He’s stated that he is up for this match and I believe his pace and determination could just prove vital for Arsenal

Form Guide:

Blackburn have won only 2 of their last 6 games. A 1-0 victory over Sheffield United and a 3-0 victory over Portsmouth.

Last 6: P6 W2 D2 L2

Arsenal’s form is identical to Blackburn’s although they have lost their last 2 games. a 3-1 victory over Bolton followed a 2-1 victory over Wigan.

Last 6: P6 W2 D2 L2

Ref Watch:

Graham Poll is the man in black for this one. Let’s hope he remembers how to use his cards…for a change!

Match Prediction:

2-1 to The Arsenal Gilberto and Denilson for Arsenal, Bentley for Rovers.


74 Replies to “Blackburn Rovers V Arsenal”

  • I think it is going to be a revenge match for Gilberto, for the last time he was sent off. One more reason to win this tie. I am really curious about the bench today, as it would be 16 and 17 yr old kids with no experience at all.

  • I think this is really Alis turn to show us what he is got, he has got the starting spot and could really solidify it for the next couple of weeks if he puts in a good performance.

  • Simmo, I think its being a bit unfair to Blackburn to say they will get stuck in. The 1st round had very little of that, and we only had ourselves to blame for the draw!! The task tonight looks even more difficult with only one available striker in Ali, but I think the time is right for him to score goals more consistently now. I’ve been saying for a while now that he’s shown promise, now he needs to take that one additional step and score !! The back 4 looks good with Eboue (no action taken yet?)-Gallas-Sendeors-Clichy, while the midfield looks ok with Theo-Denilson-Gilberto-Freddie?

  • I say 2 nil to the Arsenal. You heard it here first! Hleb must play a part tonight and would prefer him to start over Freddy. Yes the bench will be intersting and may prove important if it goes to extra time. Keep the faith!

  • prits – thank you! I agree that Rovers negative defensive play at your place wasn’t easy on the eye but we had to put up with the same when Bayer came to ours – and we created more chances! (didn’t take them though!). Youse are still the favourites for this game and Rovers will have to play at their very best AND still hope your lads have a poor day at the office! let’s hope it’s a good game…

  • Poll will do well, our best ref by some way imo
    I am anxious about this game. I think Sunday might have a spill over. I dearly hope I am proved wrong
    We have some big games coming up, tonite, Sat and Wednesday….3 wins will alleviate all concerns about going trophyless this season
    Exewood…I trust U will at least attempt a few shots tonite…the previous game sent me to sleep!

  • well, seeing as we’re missing half a team, should make for a rum old encounter. It’ll be a nailbiter perhaps, or will the kids play and open up blackburn like they did liverpool in the carling cup? We should have deniulson and cesc in midfield, that’ll give us plenty scope. Who’ll play left wing? freddie??? »»Arsene Knows««

  • surprise surprise, appears like mr poll has denied us yet another penalty. Yet we are the ones who get away with murder… »»Arsene Knows««

  • Although I am sick from that, I will try to be as moderate as I can. What a shame. Graham Poll is not a referee. He is a useless, spineless kunt. Despite that, we had chances to kill the game off, and we blew them (again). Very poor display from some of our first teamers. Good luck to Blackburn. Oh, and expect the slime from the Lane to crawl out and pollute the page. Come on ARSENAL!

  • that’s 2 pens we shold have had against blackburn in 2 ties. Ah well, crying, spilt milk, etc. Just gotta get on with it. And I hope blackburn do well in the cup. Makes the psv game the focal point of the season now… »»Arsene Knows««

  • omg, not the result I expected, well I guess the 2nd leg of the champions league where we are already 1-0 down gives a some hope…

  • I think that any true soccer fan would agree that Poll is a disaster and spoils games. One thing though and that is dont keep saying you are playing “kids” – the avaerage of your starting 11 tonight was 23 – hardly kids.

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