Mar 142009

It has been a week of welcome distractions from the continual battle against Villa in the league, and a successful one at that. An FA Cup quarter final at home to Hull awaits next week, a match that should surely be won even with a few players being rested, while the Champions League now takes a backseat for a few weeks after Wednesday’s dramatic penalty shoot out.

A match against Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn feels like an almighty comedown, but if the players approach it in that light we could be in trouble. Blackburn will be organised and robust (that’s my kind way of saying they’ll try to kick us off the park), will sit back, and in Santa Cruz and McCarthy have players that could take advantage of any slack defending. We need to be patient and hope we have the energy to keep pressing in the latter stages.

Any worries of fatigue are partly alleviated by the fact that Blackburn also played midweek, and our squad size is growing to the point that plenty of changes can be made without overtly weakening the side. I’d expect Arshavin, Walcott, Bendtner, Djourou and Song to all the heavily involved, having not featured much during the week, and I doubt there’ll be many players that start both today and against Hull.

A win would put us above Villa for the first time in ages, which would apply even more pressure on them for tomorrow’s game against Spurs, a match they need to use to turn around an even worse spell of league form than our own. Anything less than that would see yet more dropped points at the Emirates, a ground we need to make count between now and the end of the season.

I’m angling for a 3-1 win, with Bendtner continuing the form he showed against West Brom. Things just seem to be coming together.

Enjoy the game, wherever you are.

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