Blackburn will be returning to face Premier League opposition today, for the first time since their relegation from the top flight last season. They have the daunting task of travelling to the Emirates to face Arsenal, a fixture that has not served them well in recent years.
Rovers have lost three of their last four visits to the Gunners by at least four goals, their last visit being a 7-1 demolition by Wenger’s men. Since that defeat aided to the Blackburn’s relegation, they have undergone a player and manager overhaul.
The unpopular Steve Kean was sacked back in September 2012 and four managers have been tried and tested since, with the club eventually settling for Michael Appleton. Rovers are currently on a five match unbeaten run in all competitions under Appleton, including their 0-3 victory over Derby in the last round of the Cup.
Arsenal on the other hand only scraped through the last round against Championship side Brighton. Top scorers Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud scored the goals in that match, with the Frenchman grabbing a brace. It’s also three goals in Giroud’s last four appearances and Blackburn will need to keep tabs on the former Montpellier man.
Rovers’ own hit-man Jordan Rhodes should start on Saturday and they have no new injury concerns. Arsenal however may struggle in defence; with Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs out injured and Carl Jenkinson suspended. They also have the small task of Bayern Munich next Tuesday so may also rest Jack Wilshere.