Early start suits Mertesacker

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Per Mertesacker has challenged Arsenal to lay down an early marker with victory over Blackburn as they look to close back up on the top four.

The Gunners missed the opportunity to capitalise on Chelsea's draw at Swansea when they failed to beat Bolton after a goalless encounter at the Reebok Stadium on Wednesday night.

However, with Saturday's visit of struggling Rovers moved forwards to a 1pm kick-off because of engineering works on the London Underground, Arsenal could leapfrog both Liverpool and Newcastle, who are not in action until later over the weekend, and the German centre-back said: "It is an early game and as we are one of the first teams (to play), so we have to go for three points to show the other teams we are there."

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Blackburn Rovers
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Per Mertesacker
Premier League
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