Game: Blackburn Rovers v Arsenal
Venue: Ewood Park
Competition: Carling Cup Quarterfinal
Date: Tuesday, 18 December
Kickoff: 2000 GMT
Blackburn v Arsenal preview
If their last meeting is anything to go by, this game will have plenty of kicks, scrapes and cards, and the result will be a close affair.
Blackburn go into this game in a mini-slump, losing 5-3 away to Wigan, 0-1 home to West Ham and 0-4 home to Aston Villa in their last four Premier League games. I’m not sure how much of an advantage it is to beat Newcastle 3-1 (the 4th game) when you’re playing at home, although it’s worth noting that in that game Newcastle scored first. In fact, Wigan were off to 3-0 before Blackburn got a goal last Saturday.
Tough times for Mark Hughes, although the warrior side of him will relish this quarterfinal contest – not only will his side be up against a second string Arsenal team but in recent times Blackburn have been able to raise their game to go toe to toe with Arsenal and Hughes will be hoping for more of that today.
The current crop of Arsenal players are infused with a fighting spirit that has rarely been associated with Arsenal teams in recent seasons and even if the big names are rested from this Carling Cup fixture you can expect Arsenal players to fight for every ball and not to give any quarter to their opponents.
Having said that, a second-string side and with Arsenal taking only 1 point from their last two away games, there is a good chance that Blackburn can push for a result in their favor (as long as Wenger rests the big guns).