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Blackburn Rovers Vs Arsenal, Mon 3 May 2010

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Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce should have four players available again for Monday's Barclays Premier League game with Arsenal at Ewood Park.

Neither Chris Samba nor Brett Emerton travelled to Scotland this week for an end-of-season break in order to receive treatment on groin and hamstring problems respectively, but both should be fit.

El-Hadji Diouf and Vince Grella also come into contention after missing last weekend's draw at Wolves with tonsilitis and a stomach bug respectively.

Allardyce has warned the vultures hovering over Phil Jones that it will take an eye-watering offer for him to even consider allowing the youngster to leave Ewood Park.

Arsenal are understood to be one of the many clubs keeping an eye on the 18-year-old centre-back who has made a real impact on the Premier League this season.

A product of the club's youth academy, Jones was thrown in at the deep end for his league debut, but emerged as man of the match in a superb 1-1 draw with Chelsea just six weeks ago.

Since then Jones has not looked back, becoming a regular in Rovers' last six games, and attracting the attention of a number of scouts.

Although money talks, Allardyce is confident Jones will still be at Ewood Park come the start of next season.

If not, then a figure far in excess of the #10million Manchester United paid Fulham for another England star of the future in Chris Smalling is likely to be the going rate.

"When you look at Chris Smalling's situation, he plays four (league) games and he is sold for #10million," said Allardyce.

"That's how quickly things happen when a new player emerges on the scene like him and Phil Jones. They create a stir in the world of football.

"When they play consistently well then it's bound to attract some of the big boys.

"I do fear a big club will come and take him, and it doesn't matter he is currently on a longish-term contract because if they offer enough money we would have to sell him. It's as simple as that.

"But the money would have to be rather large, to say the least, so I'm very confident he'll be here (next season).

"I don't see a club stumping up the sort of money that would be in my mind to even consider letting him go."

Arsenal midfielder Andrey Arshavin remains a major doubt because of a calf problem.

Midfielder Denilson (groin) has joined William Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen (both calf) and Cesc Fabregas (fractured leg) on the sidelines and will not feature again this season, while goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (wrist) is still unavailable.

Defenders Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou are back in training after long injury lay-offs, but are not expected to feature at Ewood Park.

Theo Walcott intends to make full use of the final two Premier League games of the season to cement his place in England's World Cup squad.

The 21-year-old was hampered by injury earlier in the campaign, but has recently produced a number of impressive displays, including when he came off the bench to score in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.

Walcott knows how important it is to finish the season in good form, especially with competition for places in Fabio Capello's final 23-man squad for South Africa hotting up with Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon now playing again after his injury lay-off.

"I have not played much this season and I feel fresh, so hopefully the more games I get to play, the better I will be and I will get to be on the plane," said Walcott, who has four goals from 28 appearances, 15 off the bench.

"The World Cup is the biggest dream of all for every boy - everyone dreams of a 1966 moment, at least I know I do.

"Hopefully we can make it another one.

"We believe we can win it and we will do everything to bring the World Cup back home - it has been too long."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League

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