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The Stats That Keep Big Sam Awake At Night

First, look over our next 8 games in the league.

Man U (A), Hull (A), Everton (H), Fulham (A), Arsenal (A), West Ham (H), Tottenham (H), Liverpool (A).

Notice anything worrying? Over the next eight Premiership games, 6 are from the top half and 4 are in the top six. Worst of all we play United, Arsenal and Liverpool away.
Let`s examine the fixtures more closely, starting with the three fixtures against members of the so-called "Big 4". Between them, only Arsenal has lost a game at home, United and Liverpool remain undefeated at home this season.

However, a draw at Anfield is not unthinkable - Liverpool have drawn 5 at home this season already. At the Emirates, a draw could also be feasible. Arsenal have lost 2 and drawn 3 at home this season. Still, getting anything against United looks extremely unlikely. They have only dropped 2 points at home this season - to Newcastle on the opening day. And that`s not mentioning the maximum points claimed from their last 6 games, and their clean-sheets record (though I have a sneaking suspicion JR might bang one in on Saturday). Big Sam`s stats say: 1-2 points maximum, realistically: 0-1 points

Next up, two teams in form. West Ham and Everton are both teams playing very well at the moment, both picking up 11 points from their last 6 games. These stats look even better when you consider who they`ve played. Everton`s form in particular looks fearsome when you include FA Cup victories over Liverpool and Villa, and note that they`ve played Arsenal, United and Liverpool in their last 6 in the league.

West Ham too have played United and Arsenal in their last six games, although not as impressive against big opposition as Everton, they still managed a draw at the Emirates. On the plus side, both these games are at home. Although it`s hardly been fortress Ewood this season, all 3 of our victories under Allardyce have come at home (including our extra-time win over Sunderland). However, our record against the Hammers over the past few seasons is dreadful. Our last 5 league encounters have all ended in defeat.

We have had a better record against Everton in the past. However, their form of late has been stunning at times and the league stats don`t tell the full story of their games against Liverpool or Villa. What will probably tell most though, is their dominance in midfield. Against Villa we were completely outclassed across the pitch, but especially in the centre of the park. Everton are arguably even stronger than Villa in midfield and I can`t see us coming away from this game with more than a point. Summary: Luck never seems to favour us against the Hammers, so although we could get 3 points, we`ll more likely pick up none. I also seriously doubt our chances against Everton due to our weakness in midfield, so I think the Hammers game is our chance here. Big Sam`s stats say: 1-3 points

So far it`s been a very bleak outlook for our up coming games. So let`s look at the three other fixtures: Hull, Fulham and Tottenham. On paper, Hull should be our best chance of a win in the coming weeks - a win there is crucial. Hull have the second worst form in the league, and have only picked up 2 points form their last 6 games. At home, their form is slightly better, but still only boasts one win in 6. Surely Sam will be targeting this game to pick up his first win on the road.

Fulham away will be a completely different story. They have only lost once at home all season and are joint second behind United on home form (14 points from 6 games). This will be a tough game and although Fulham were made to look average at the weekend by Swansea, I think a draw is a realistic aim here.

Finally, last and least, Tottenham at home. Out of all of the fixtures of the season, Spurs is always the one I want to win the most. The stats suggest we have a chance: Spurs have lost 5 out of their last 6 away games, and, like us, have only won away from home twice. However, Spurs just shelled out around £45m on new (well… mainly old) players in the January window, so we must remember that Spurs are a different team from before January. Still, this game is another good chance of picking up 3 points and I will be disappointed if we don`t hit this game with all guns blazing. Big Sam`s stats say: 6-7 points (wins against Spurs and Hull are crucial)

So there you have it.
On paper, Blackburn can hope for 12 points maximum from the next 8 games. Form like this is actually better than our current form. As long as the teams around us keeping drawing and losing, we might expect to climb a couple of places in the league. That said, a collection of 7 points, a more realistic target, would give us bottom 5 form at best, and would leave us with a very nervous end of season run in.
It looks like Big Sam has some sleepless nights ahead




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The Journalist

Writer: Money4Midfield Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 19 2009

Time: 4:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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A great read that mate. Excellent stuff. As an optimist though I think we are gonna win every game but thats prob just me!!! (and maybe retro!!!)
Mikey D
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19/02/2009 16:16:00

Thanks Mikey. Oh and I said this to Mikey so I might as well tell the rest of you that I've always been of the opinion that it is the football fan's place, nay duty, to feel pessimistic about their teams chances :) (touch wood and all that).
Money4midfield
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19/02/2009 16:25:00

looks like you're doomed chaps !
merlin
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19/02/2009 20:17:00

Hmmm CHelsea trophyless this season merlin?, another manager down the gurgle? get out of here!! lollll, always good banter with the points racking merlin..... Great article mate, geez tough run aye, might be an interesting last few weeks, if we can scrape 12 points over these 8 games, im sure it will put us in good stead for the run home, who knows, some of our boys might just fire up!!!
sasman
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19/02/2009 22:56:00

we're cutting very close, but i am hopeful. hull and tottenham games are indeed crucial.
dominator2800
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19/02/2009 23:00:00

great article, but i am with the money man and i am a little concerned and not altogether hopeful
AustRover
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19/02/2009 23:39:00

fantastic read. however i disagree on some points- like Mikey i believe that from the available 24 points i think we can take... well... 24 :D
retroflair31
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20/02/2009 04:07:00

Really good article Money4Midfield, enjoyed reading it. 12 points from those 8 matches wouldn't be bad, and I would probably accept that. I think we'll get more though!!
Walker
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20/02/2009 09:33:00

Thanks chaps. Seems like us fans have mixed feelings. The stats never tell the whole story, Big Sam had a good record against Arsenal at Bolton so maybe we could get some solid points there (although the Gooners don't seem to play Arsenal football any more). I hope all the positive fans are right, even though I'm not going to be sleeping soundly myself until the last whistle of the season..... I'm mainly just hoping we can do one over Spurs and finally get a result against the Hammers. I watched the last West ham game in a bar in Cambodia and it ruined my day (Bellamy scored a break away second goal after we'd been pushing hard for the equaliser).
Money4midfield
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20/02/2009 10:05:00

Big Sams Blue and White Army! If we play like we did on Saturday evening for the rest of the season there is no way we'll go down. Not a chance.
Mikey D
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23/02/2009 12:57:00

blackburn has a nasty nack of ending teams poor runs, many team swho aint won for ages in the past have broke there duck against rovers, now is the time for us to stand up and be counted the spurs result last night was a disater for rovers, and lets hope hull are tired come sunday as they play thursday in the cup
glen9mullan
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24/02/2009 13:34:00

amen glen :)
Money4midfield
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26/02/2009 17:47:00

 

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