Blackburn vs Man Utd: Team News, Preferred Team & Predicted Score
Manchester United are desperately close to landing the 2010/11 Barclays Premier League title, and they will be fighting tooth and nail for that point against Blackburn at Ewood Park.
The Reds have put themselves in that unassailable position with a fully deserved 2-1 victory over Chelsea last weekend, however, Rovers are in a wounded animal position of their own, and will make life difficult for their Greater Manchester rival.
If United does not get off to another good start, it could invite more pressure on themselves not only in this game, but for the rest of the season, so Sir Alex Ferguson must have his team fully prepared for Blackburn.
The Riversiders, as some still refer to their club as, are still engulfed in the relegation battle and currently sit in 15th place. Some may think well that is three spots from the teams that are going down to the second division of English, but only three points separates them from 19th place, at the moment.
The reason why Blackburn is in that position is that they have only picked up one win from their last 12 matches – a 1-0 win over another Greater Manchester club, Bolton, two weeks ago. Six losses and five draws is not good enough, but record and form mean nothing in Lancashire derbies.
Blackburn has not beaten United since they triumphed 4-3 at Ewood Park five years ago – David Bentley scored a hat trick. Since then, the Reds have registered seven wins and two draws against Rovers, and the last draw was a disappointing nil-nil result, which all but ending their hopes of winning the title last season. Blackburn leads the all-time series at their own ground by winning 18, drawing 13 and losing 16 while scoring 84 to United’s 77.
Right now, Blackburn is seventh from bottom with 56 goals conceded, but, amazingly, only 15 of them have been at Ewood Park, which is only five off United’s league-best total of 10. Their defense is led by Ryan Nelsen, Paul Robinson and Christopher Samba, who tried to secure a move to Arsenal in January.
At the other end is where all of the problems lie for Steve Kean, who will be facing Manchester United for the first time as manager of Blackburn, after he replaced Sam Allardyce in December.
Rovers have only scored 42 goals this season – 21 at home and on the road – which is three less than the Reds have scored in their 18 home games. Their 21 goals at home is only two better than the two worst scoring teams in the league – Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City – and, unsurprisingly, those clubs are near the relegation zone as well. United leads the Premier League in goals with 73, but only 28 of them have come on their travels.
Nikola Kalinic is the club’s leading goal scorer with five goals – which is equal to the total of a United’s players total when these two teams met up the last time.
On a very chilly day at Old Trafford back in November, Manchester United lit up the scoreboard en route to a 7-1 win over Blackburn.
Dimitar Berbatov, who went 15 United matches without scoring, ended up with a mind-boggling five goals to his name, and Ji-Sung Park and Nani chipped in the goals to cap off the Red Devils’ complete demolition of Rovers.
Remarkable, that win allowed United to move to the top of the standings for the first time all season, and they have yet to relinquish that position since. They shared the top spot with Arsenal for two weeks, but nothing more than that – a stretch of 22 weeks.
With only one Premier League game remaining after this game, Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking to rotate his squad to ensure fitness levels are there for the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final two weeks from Saturday. Darren Fletcher and Rafael were both given some minutes on the clock in the reserves, a 2-1 loss to Blackburn, so it is probable that both will play apart in this fixture.
The two injury doubts that the Gaffer has are Patrice Evra and John O’Shea. as the French full-back missed the all-important match against Chelsea last weekend and the Irish defender was withdrawn at halftime. If neither of them are not 100% fit, there is no way that Sir Alex will take a chance – especially seeing the way that Jonny Evans played there during the second half.
Like all of the supporters, there is no question that Sir Alex Ferguson wants to rely on Manchester United having to get a point on the last weekend of the season, so rest assure that he will be gunning for the victory over Blackburn.
Out: O. Hargreaves (shoulder), Questionable: P. Evra (ankle), J. O’Shea
E. van der Sar; Fabio, R. Ferdinand, N. Vidic, J. Evans; Nani, P. Scholes, D. Fletcher, Anderson; M. Owen, D. Berbatov
Blackburn 0 Manchester United 1
Submitted by The United Religion
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