Swansea City proved to be surprisingly difficult opposition for Arsenal last week, and the Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund was anything but convincing. Saturday's match against Blackburn Rovers should be different. It provides a great opportunity for Arsenal to produce a morale-boosting performance.
Propping up the English Premier League table, Blackburn Rovers give Arsene Wenger's men a chance to rediscover their swagger and verve. Here we predict the six players most likely to shine at Ewood Park.
Paul Robinson is one of the best goalkeepers in the English Premier League, and he is sure to be busy on Saturday. Blackburn Rovers have struggled since Sam Allardyce was sacked and are likely to spend much of the game against Arsenal on the back foot. If they are to get a point, Robinson will have to be at his very best.
Andrei Arshavin was both goal scorer and man of the match during the narrow win over Swansea. Whether he is playing for his Arsenal career or a move back to Russia is uncertain, but the Gunners should reap the rewards with performances similar to those witnessed when he first arrived in 2009.
A visit to the Northern, industrial birthplace of association football is perfect for the tough-tackling Emmanuel Frimpong. If selected to start, he is sure to dominate a Blackburn midfield already shorn of highly rated youngster David Hoilett.
A graduate of Barcelona's famed academy, striker Ruben Rochina is in a rich vein of goal-scoring form at the moment. On Sunday, he banged home a cracker against Fulham.
A classy player, Rochina isn't short of confidence either. Despite his Blackburn Rovers side propping up the Premier League table, he said "Arsenal are a great team, but we have many good players and a good team. I think we can beat them."
The best thing about Arsenal's difficult start to the season has been Wojciech Szczęsny. Outstanding again against Borussia Dortmund, the Pole is quickly carving himself a reputation as one of the best young goalkeepers in the English Premier League.
If Ruben Rochina plays like he did against Fulham, Szczęsny will have to be at his very best.
Put simply, Robin van Persie is a world-class player—probably the only one Arsenal currently have. Unplayable when on form, van Persie should be able to fill his boots against a Blackburn Rovers side who have conceded seven goals in the opening four matches.