Robin van Persie has emerged as the man to lead Arsenal out of their early-season funk and the Dutch striker will be a key figure in ensuring their rehabilitation continues in the Champions League at home to Olympiakos on Wednesday.
Van Persie scored twice in a 3-0 home victory against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday — a win that helped steady the ship after the club’s worst start to a Premier League campaign.
Despite that fillip there is still a long way to go before the doom-mongers disperse and anything short of victory on Wednesday against a club with an abysmal record in England would offer them more ammunition.
Olympiakos have lost all nine away games against English opposition in Europe, conceding 29 goals in the process and scoring just once — a record that suggests even an Arsenal side in transition should build on their opening draw in Dortmund with a convincing home win.
Chelsea’s mata to face old faces
Madrid: Chelsea’s Juan Mata will be back among friends when the Spanish World Cup winner returns to Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday, just over a month after leaving. The 23-year-old midfielder made an immediate impact, scoring in an opening 2-0 home Group E win over Bayer Leverkusen.