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Preview: Gunners v Llanelli Scarlets



This will be the fourth time this season these two sides have met.  The Gunners opened their account in the Celtic League back in September with an excellent away win at Stradey Park, before losing agonisingly at the same ground in the ninth minute of time added-on in the Heineken Cup fixture in October.  Although the Gunners won the return Heineken Cup fixture in January, it was a nail-biting one point win when really the Gunners should have romped home, having secured the try-bonus before half-time and having led 33-13 on the hour.

Despite the glory of reaching the Powergen Cup final Friday's visitors have been going through a rough patch, last week's victory over the Dragons coming after three successive defeats for the West Walians.  And that match at Murrayfield back in January was the first of five successive defeats on the road for the Scarlets.  With a game and a "free-weekend" bonus in hand over their rivals however, the Scarlets are still in contention to be the top Welsh side in the league come the end of the season should Cardiff Blues slip up, even if the league title itself is now out of the question.  So for all sorts of reasons, the Scarlets will be coming to win.

For the Gunners, pride and Scottish bragging rights are all that are at stake now as they aim to avoid a fifth consecutive Celtic League defeat, an ignominious run that would be a new low for the club.  With the Reivers only eight points behind in the league, the Gunners know that defeat this week could see that top Scottish spot, once looking like a shoo-in, thrown back into contention.  Given that and the Scarlets' recent form, particularly on the road, you would hope that the Gunners could somehow contrive to win.  Fingers crossed!