Captain Robin van Persie has called on his Arsenal team-mates to keep a close watch on Andy Carroll this weekend.

The statuesque striker scored the winner for Newcastle at Emirates Stadium last season before moving to Anfield for a reported £35 million in January. The goal caught Van Persie’s eye and brought back memories of another former Newcastle and England No 9.

“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 Saturday’s 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 scored an injury-time time penalty the last time Kenny Dalglish’s men visited Emirates Stadium only for Dirk Kuyt to score an even later equaliser - also from the spot.

Liverpool have been busy in the transfer market over the summer, bringing in Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jose Enrique, and the Dutchman believes they will challenge for the Premier League title this season.

“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’m excited to be playing against them; our last encounter, in April, was certainly dramatic and started in the 90th minute really! Hopefully we can give the fans a nice experience on Saturday.

“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.”

The full interview with Robin will appear in Saturday's Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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19 Aug 2011