Football

Blackburn Rovers Vs Arsenal, Sat 28 Aug 2010

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Blackburn midfielder David Dunn could return to the side for the Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal at Ewood Park.

Dunn returned to training this week after suffering a groin injury during the opening day victory over Everton.

Gael Givet is expected to play after losing a tooth in the Carling Cup win over Norwich which left him in in some discomfort but Keith Andrews is absent with a groin problem.

Boss Sam Allardyce takes extra confidence going into the match from his side's good form at Ewood Park.

They beat Everton on the opening day and lost only three times in the league last season in front of their own supporters.

He said: "Psychologically we feel very good when we play at home. The players come in and feel very buoyant and I need to keep that feeling going as long as possible.

"It has been going for the best part of two years now. Ever since I came here, even though we were in the doldrums and in the bottom three, we were always very competitive and capable of picking up points at home.

"Overall I've lost about five home games during my time at Ewood Park and that is a record we want to keep and we want to improve on.

"You can't ever give up on telling your players how to do the right things in the right areas.

"You must constantly get onto them about continuing to do those things no matter who you are playing. If you do that then you get the results. If you don't you can end up slipping up."

Arsenal will have midfielder Denilson back in the squad after an abdominal injury.

Centre-half Laurent Koscielny is available again following a one-match ban, but new signing Sebastien Squillaci is not expected to be involved at Ewood Park.

Samir Nasri (knee), Nicklas Bendtner (groin) and Aaron Ramsey (broken leg) remain sidelined.

Arsenal head to Ewood Park on the back of a 6-0 thrashing of newboys Blackpool.

England forward Theo Walcott grabbed a hat-trick against the Tangerines, but still drew criticism from BBC pundit Alan Hansen.

Wenger, though, feels the 21-year-old - now very much back in the England fold after being left out of the World Cup squad - will take it all in his stride.

"I believe you can always win every battle - just show up with a good performance," the Arsenal manager said.

"It was a one-day performance, but I believe personally that Theo has the quality to repeat those kind of performances and that is what he has to show on the football pitch.

"I have seen so many great players in my life. They have all been questioned - Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney has been questioned at 20, Zidane had been questioned at 20, but that is down to the players to answer on the pitch with their performance."

Wenger added: "Theo has a quality, apart from football qualities, he is mentally strong, he is fit on the ground and is intelligent.

"He was unlucky many times with long-term injuries, but it helped him to mature as well and to take a distance from all the hype after he went to the World Cup at 17. He dealt with that very well.

"For the rest, if you are fit on the ground and fit on earth, turn up on Saturday and have a great game and that is the best way to get everybody on board."

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

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League

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