Winterburn: Van Persie could edge Terry

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Former Arsenal full-back Nigel Winterburn believes in-form Robin van Persie could prove to be the difference in the London derby against Chelsea this weekend.

Van Persie has seven league goals already this season for the Gunners, including a double against Stoke City last weekend.

With John Terry having endured a turbulent week in the wake of allegations of racism during Chelsea's defeat at Queens Park Rangers, Winterburn feels added pressure of contending with the Dutchman this weekend could break the England captain.

"John Terry is the kind of character who will be able to put the last week behind him and concentrate solely on football when he walks out onto the pitch on Saturday," Winterburn said.

"I have no doubt that he will give 100 per cent and he is the key to keeping the Chelsea defence together with his leadership qualities and his ability to win the ball.

"He will look to play a high line and get tight to Robin van Persie but the Dutchman is on fire at the moment. He has taken on the burden of added responsibility this season and has dragged Arsenal back from a very poor start to the season, almost single-handedly at times.

"Van Persie only needs half a yard to work the ball into a position where he can shoot at goal with his left foot, and I won't be surprised if he gets the better of Terry this weekend."

If Arsenal can provide their eighth win in nine games at Stamford Bridge it would leave Arsene Wenger's side just three points behind the Blues in the Barclays Premier League, and propel themselves back into the race for a Champions League spot that they appeared destined be spectators for, rather than competitors.

Robin Van Persie
Nigel Winterburn
Premier League
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