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P.J. Murray 1st Apr 2011 - 15:27

Bookies aren't Kean on Blackburns chances

At 11/1 the bookies aren't Kean on Blackburn's chances of a victory at the Emirates on Saturday.

If form is anything to go by then Rovers are facing a huge task, having been handed a 6-2 spanking in this fixture last season.

Arsenal are odds on at 1/4 and having had two weeks to lament what was a diabolical first half performance against West Brom, the Gunners will be fully loaded to set things right.

The draw against West Brom meant that Arsenal had won only once in their last five competitive fixtures, that victory coming at home to Leyton Orient in the FA Cup.

Blackburn have been struggling to put together a decent run all season and they have been regressing in recent weeks, it has been six league games since their last victory and few would bet against this changing.

The home side are 8/5 to start with a two goal handicap, and considering the amount of firepower they will have available this isn't such a bad call. Rovers have conceded nine goals in their last three league matches. However they have scored five in return. At even money backing both sides to score could prove to be a wise investment.

With no Champions league, no FA Cup and only a runners up medal from the League cup, the Premier League is the only piece of silverware left for Arsenal to challenge.  So from here on in it is all or nothing for the Londoners.

Despite sitting in 13th Blackburn are one point off the relegation zone, even a point against Arsenal would be huge for the troubled Lancashire side, you can back the draw at 9/2.

Wenger welcomes back from injury, Theo Walcott, Alex Song, Abou Diaby, Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner as he will ponder his attacking array. You can back Van Persie to open the scoring at 5/2, while Nasri is 4/1 to be first goalscorer. For a much bigger price you can back Van Persie to score a hat trick at 12/1. The Dutchman hit his first ever hat trick against Wigan earlier this year.

We are offering an enhanced Match Winners special on this match and at 4/1 you can back four or more different Arsenal players to score against Blackburn. The meeting between these sides last season at the Emirates produced six different Arsenal goalscorers in a 6-2 rout.

Rovers' Indian owners are putting their faith in Kean as manager, despite being cut into odds on to be next manager to be sacked, and the former assistant manager has so far showed no signs of buckling under the pressure.

He will be without Leeds acquisition Mike Grella but should have his top scorer this season Nikola Kalinic available for selection and at 12/1 you can back the Croat to be the first goalscorer.

Another damning statist for Kean's side is that they have yet to win an away fixture in 2011. They have also conceded a total of 16 goals on their travels this season. If you think this rout will stop and they can keep a clean sheet for the first time this year then you can back that at the large price of 8/1.

All signs point to a high scoring game, although more in Arsenals favour, and you back over 3 goals at 5/4. If you expect a repeat of last season's encounter then a correct score of 6-2 is 150/1.

Wenger has stated that he will keep faith in under fire keeper Manuel Almunia, despite having Jens Lehmann on the bench. As such this generally gives sides the chance to sneak at least one goal and you can get 6/4 for Blackburn to score just once.

It's hard to see past a home win, but some value I would back Arsenal with a two goal handicap at 8/5 and expect the Gunners to fire back into contention.



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