Arsenal vs Blackburn Match Preview

Arsenal host Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates on Saturday for what is sure to be an intriguing FA Cup fifth round fixture, and perhaps a potential banana skin for the Gunners.

The last time these two sides met, almost a year ago to the date, Arsenal ran out 7-1 winners in the Premier League tie. A hat-trick from Robin van Persie, a double from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a sweet strike from Mikel Arteta and an own goal from Rovers defender Scott Dann completed the rout and sent Rovers back up north with their tails between their legs.

This time round, with Blackburn in the Championship and Arsenal in the middle of a shaky periodm it is hard to be sure where to put your pennies.

Arsenal go into the game on the back of two 1-0 victories against Sunderland and Stoke respectively, and Rovers have not conceded a goal from open play in the last 8 hours of football, so under 2.5 goals in the 90 minutes looks tempting at 2.80.

If it is the goal scorers market that interests you, then Theo Walcott is an inviting 5.00 to open the scoring with, while Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes is an even tastier 9.00. Taking into consideration the amount of goals these two have piled up between them this term then it is hard to look past one of them breaking the deadlock.

Mikel Arteta – the north London’s resident penalty taker, also looks rosy at 3.00 to score anytime.

Rovers are in solid form at current and travel to the Emirates unbeaten in their last 5 outings. If you fancy backing the underdogs in this one then you will get a generous 12.50 on an away win in 90 minutes, or 7.00 if you fancy Blackburn to progress into the next round.

The Lancashire side with a +1 handicap are 3.70, or 2.10 with a +2.

But my value bet of this clash is the game to be a draw at half time but an Arsenal win at full time, which comes in at an alluring 4.40. (Draw HT / Arsenal FT).

I am sure after all the pressure and abuse that Arsene Wenger has come up against this term he will be naming his strongest line up in this one, like he did in the previous round against seaside club Brighton and Hove Albion. Let’s just hope, for Arsene’s sake, that the Gunners don’t make a mess of the opportunity to climb into the draw for the next round.

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