Arsenal v Blackburn 13:00 Sat
With Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool all playing on either Sunday or Monday, Paddy Power make Arsenal favourites to up to fifth and within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea with a win over Blackburn on Saturday.
The Gunners slipped off the pace during midweek after stumbling to a 0-0 draw at the Reebok Stadium and even the chance of temporary ascension in the Premier League could prove ample incentive for the side to get a decent win over Blackburn Rovers.
Arsene Wenger has added reason to look for a win against Steve Kean’s side after losing 4-3 at Ewood Park in September and revenge is just another factor in this encounter.
Despite being in the relegation zone, Rovers can actually boast better form going into this fixture, with Arsenal losing three and drawing one of their last six games.
Another surprising statistic is that for all the injuries and absences Arsenal have experienced on the defensive side this season, the North London outfit have the third best Premier League defence when playing at home this campaign and although Blackburn haven’t found it hard to score away from home, breaking down the Emirates wall could prove difficult.
Steve Kean may have experienced months of adversity leading up to the January transfer window but the Scot still managed to keep a hold of his best players including Christopher Samba and Junior Hoilett.
However, it has been announced that captain Samba will not feature this weekend, presumably due to a dispute or the fact that the player may not be in the right state of mind for such a match.
The absence is undoubtedly a huge blow to Rovers who will surely go into this fixture as favourites to lose, but it’s often the ‘nothing to lose’ mentality that can prevail over flailing sides like Arsenal.