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Andy Carroll is the new Alan Shearer - Van Persie

ESPN staff
August 19, 2011 « Nasri in Arsenal squad to face Liverpool | Chartbeat test »

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Robin van Persie has warned the Arsenal defence to arrive in focused mood on Saturday, because they will be facing the new Alan Shearer.

Van Persie is preparing for the visit of Liverpool to Emirates Stadium this weekend, which means the return of Andy Carroll to north London. The last time Carroll travelled to Arsenal, he scored the winner for Newcastle with a towering header.

Both sides drew their opening games of the new season, and they could find themselves as rivals for a Champions League spot come the end of the campaign. Liverpool have been active in the transfer market, spending in the region of £100 million since Kenny Dalglish's arrival (counter-balanced by the loss of £50 million Fernando Torres), whereas Arsenal's fans continue to await big-money signings from Arsene Wenger.

One of Liverpool's captures stands out to Van Persie more than any other, and he is concerned Carroll could play a major role this weekend.

"He's very strong and reminds me of Alan Shearer in style - holding the ball well, heading it strongly, moving nicely and looking lively in the box," Van Persie told Arsenal's official Matchday Programme.

"We've seen what Carroll can do before - he scored the winner here for Newcastle last season. We'll need to be on our guard against him."

Van Persie also confirmed he expects Liverpool to feature in the title race, although he intends to dent their aspirations on Saturday.

"I rate them as title contenders every year, and they look strong this time around," he said. "You can only look forward to games like these. I've seen highlights of their match against Sunderland last week, and they seemed unlucky not to win - although I have to say Sunderland looked decent too."

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