Will Blackburn game see Arsenal debut a new striking partnership?

By Graham McNorthbank

Arsenal travel to Blackburn tomorrow hoping to build on last week's win over Swansea in the knowledge that at least one of the top four teams will drop points this weekend.

A satisfying draw in Dortmund mid-week will have helped rebuild some of the shattered confidence after THAT result, but the team really needs to put together a convincing performance to get back on track and build the belief needed to get the Arsenal back into the higher echelons of the league table.

Normally when the Gunners play a team rooted at the foot of the table I'm fairly relaxed about the game. But Blackburn are no mugs and we've struggled at their place in the past, so I'm not taking anything for granted tomorrow lunch time.

Once again injuries will pretty much dictate the shape of the starting 11, but thankfully both Alex Song and Gervinho will be available to play again after serving their suspensions, which should give our midfield the firepower to handle Blackburn.

Indeed, I reckon Le Gaffer will stick pretty much to the side that started in Germany on Tuesday with possibly one or two exceptions. So with Wojciech Szczesny in goal, the back four will likely remain Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Gibbs, although we might well see Andre Santos getting his first start for the club and Gibbs rested on the bench.

In the centre of the park, I'd go for Song, Arteta and Benayoun again, while up front I think Gervinho will support RvP, but Ju Young Park might get a run out, allowing Theo Walcott to come off the bench later on to test tiring limbs.

All said and done, we need a victory on the road to properly get this campaign kick started and I'm hoping that the form that both van Persie and Park showed for their countries might reap dividends for us tomorrow afternoon.

As usual, feel free to disagree with my preferred line up by using our comments facility below, but to compare your starting 11 with mine, here's who I'd pick for the trip to Ewood Park.

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Santos

Benayoun Song Arteta

Gervinho RvP Park