Arsenal will play host to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, with the winners getting a place in the quarter finals of the FA cup. For Arsenal, with an extremely difficult double header in the Champions league against Bayern Munich, this competition surely represents the best chance of finally adding another piece of silverware to the Emirates’ trophy cabinet.
Arsenal are also involved in the battle for a top four spot in the Premier league and a place in Europe’s top competition next season. Blackburn, however, are in a similar struggle in the championship. They travelled to play-off rivals Brighton last night sitting just four points outside the play-off positions, as they seek to bounce straight back to the Premier league.
Rovers took the lead against the run of play, defender Scott Dann heading in Murphy’s corner. Brighton were the better side and finally got level via the penalty spot, but were unable to get a winner. That leaves them six points outside the play-offs, with the next three games in February coming against promotion rivals.
There is a good chance that Blackburn will see the cup game as less important than the league, and they have another game next Tuesday. Arsenal are likely to rest a few players as well, but the league situation with Rovers makes that less of a risk.