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Nic Ladds 3rd Oct 2009 - 13:14

Van Persie to once again terrorize sorry Blackburn

Arsenal fans are likely to remember that they beat Blackburn Rovers 4-0 both home and away last season and sentimental fans may like to take the 10/1 on offer for that same score line.

All the stats point to a comfortable Arsenal win and there will be plenty willing to back up this up with a bet on the home side at 1/5 while it will take the more optimistic punter to side with Blackburn, even at odds of 10/1.

Most of the damning statistics for Blackburn concentrate on the fact that they stand little chance of keeping a clean sheet with Paul Robinson having conceded 41 Premier League goals in his last 14 league games against Arsenal and the home side to score in both halves at 8/15 could be the best way to exploit this.

Rovers have also lost seven away league games in a row and Manchester United are the only side to stop Arsenal scoring in their last 17 Premier League matches and 15/2 about a Blackburn clean sheet should be left well alone.

Robin van Persie could be the main man to benefit as he has scored eight goals in seven appearances against Rovers and the Dutchman is 3/1 to score first or as short as 8/11 to score anytime.

Arsenal have had 11 scorers this season, the most in the league which shows goals can come from anywhere on the pitch so 6/1 about defender Thomas Vermaelen looks a fair bet, while Eduardo and Andrei Arshavin are likely to be on the premises for first goal at 4/1 and 9/2 respectively.

Blackburn's away record stands at played two, lost two and Sam Allardyce will be greatly concerned that his side have score just one goal on their travels and Benni McCarthy (11/1 first goal), Franco di Santo (11/1) and Jason Roberts (14/1) all need to find their scoring boots.

Allardyce may well try and set his team out to seal a bore draw, a tactic that he became famous for at Bolton which can be backed at 4/1 in the match odds or 0-0 is 12/1.

However, Arsene Wenger will not accept anything less than a win with Man City already strutting around as if they've taken the fourth spot already, while arch-rivals Spurs sit above them in the league and scores of 2-0 and 3-0 at 5/1 and 13/2 look about right, while if Rovers are to snatch a goal, 3-1 is available at 9/1.

The overwhelming feeling is Arsenal are to walk this and Arsenal/Arsenal double result at 8/15 shows how the prices agree, while a van Persie hat trick is as short at 16/1.

With Theo Walcott also returning and defenders Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba likely to be missing, this could be a procession for the Gunners.

Van Persie's record against Blackburn is hard to ignore so back him for first scorer while any bet involving Arsenal scoring a lot of goals is likely to pay dividends come Sunday afternoon.


Robin van Persie to score first - 3/1


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