To say this is a crunch match for Sam Allardyce would be somewhat of an understatement. Devoid of tactics, passing and anything resembling a shot on target against Liverpool, the heat is definitely on the former Bolton boss as he returns again to the north west. Following the 3-1 win against Bolton on the opening day of the season the club was buoyant with optimism and the players, as per usual, got ahead of themselves with the Europe/Champions League/trophies patter.
Fast forward four months and we`re on a four game winless streak and possess as much attacking venom as a wombat. Owen remains injured but the difference is that Sam has managed to well and truly piss Martins off by dropping him in and out of the side at will. Geremi looks a dead loss and Alan Smith remains a liability anywhere outside of centre forward.
See article title ‘Sam’s Wor Cry’…
Blackburn Team News:
Blackburn lined up with the following team against Villa on Wednesday, where they ended on the end of a 4-0 home tanning:
Friedel, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Mokoena (Reid 67), Dunn, Bentley (Pedersen 81), Santa Cruz, McCarthy (Roberts 67).
Subs Not Used: Brown, Savage.
Nelsen was sent off early on, with Emerton presumably fitting in at right back and McCarthy dropping into midfield. Expect Pedersen to return in midfield for us on Saturday to test out our powderpuff defence with some menacing crosses. No news yet on who is expected to take Nelsen`s place, with his suspension starting tomorrow.
Player to watch: Benni McCarthy
Star man remains Benni McCarthy. Scored the most goals other than Drogba I think the league last season and should be a serious test for our brittle defence.
Newcastle Team News:
For ourselves it`s a case of who not to keep. Cacapa, Faye and Taylor are all in and around the fitness test stage. The Ronnie continues to run with it`s ‘Rozenhal in midfield` tagline as well as hinting at Alan Smith being moved to a position he might actually be effective in. Overall there`s the anticipation that it could be:
Given, Beye, Faye, Taylor, Enrique, Milner, Rozenhal, Butt, N`Zogbia, Viduka, Martins.
Oodles of creativity in that team.
Player to watch: Oba Martins
Star man is set to be Oba. Two goals in his last appearance at Ewood. Let`s hope for the same again.
Previous results at Rovers (Premier League only)
2006/07: Won 3-1 Martins 2, Taylor
2005/06: Won 3-0 Shearer, Owen, N’Zogbia
2004/05: Drew 2-2 Dyer, Robert
2003/04: Drew 1-1 Bellamy
2002/03: Lost 2-5 Shearer 2
2001/02: Drew 2-2 Shearer 2
1999/00: Won 2-1 Shearer 2 (FAC)
1998/99: Won 1-0 Saha (FAC)
1998/99: Drew 0-0
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Lost 0-1
1995/96: Lost 1-2 Batty
1994/95: Lost 0-1
1994/95: Won 2-1 Hottiger, Clark (FAC)
1993/94: Lost 0-1
Whistler for the day is Martin Atkinson.
A tetchy 1-1 draw.
The small task of Arsenal in the league on Wednesday followed by Brum on Saturday. Both at SJP.