Arsene Wenger believes Robin van Persie will find his scoring boots again before the end of the season having not scored in open play since the Gunners beat Newcastle United in mid-March.
The run, stretching seven games, represents something of a drought for the Dutchman even though he notched an impudent penalty in a recent win over Wolves.
Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday’s clash, the boss made clear there was no pressure on his captain to score all the goals for Arsenal, but did hint that he expected his main man to add to his tally in the final four games of the season.
“We cannot ask for too much more from Robin, he has given absolutely everything the whole season and he will again on Saturday,” said Wenger.
“I don’t want to put on his head and his shoulders the fact that he absolutely has to score because I believe we can score from different compartments in the team.
“If we create the chances he will score.”
Having been in marvelous scoring form for 18 months, Van Persie is the bookmakers favourite to win both the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards in the coming weeks. Asked whether he expected his protégé to cap his imperious year with the personal gongs, Wenger responded in the affirmative.
“Honestly I expect him to be Player of the Season. I do [expect a second wind as well], but let’s not put too much pressure on him.”