What lies ahead...October
Blackburn Rovers have already played and beaten Wigan Athletic in October but what lies a head for the rest of a busy month after the International break?
Having played and beaten Wigan on Sunday 2nd October Rovers are next in action a week today on Saturday 14th October, in which will begin a period of 5 games in 15 day so it will be a very hectic schedule.
PREM Sat 14th 15:00 - Liverpool (a)
Liverpool currently lie in 10th place in the Premiership, one place below Rovers, with 10 points from their seven matches played, one point fewer than Rovers.
The match could see Craig Bellamy come up against his former side still in search of his first Liverpool goal in the League after a difficult start; however Mark Hughes and the Rovers defence will be aware of his presence and threat. Brad Friedel, if fit would return to his former side once again looking to show them what they are missing out on. If selected, although unlikely Dominic Matteo will also face his former side, with Lucas Neill (if selected after his rant?) coming up against the side that wanted to sign him in August.
Last season, on the 15th October 2005, so almost exactly a year on, in front of an Anfield crowd of 44,697 Rovers made the short trip home empty handed after losing 1-0 to a 75th minute Djibril Cisse goal. Rovers would also play 57 minutes of the match with ten men having had defender Zurab Khizinashvilli sent off after 33 minutes.
With Liverpool unbeaten at home, conceding only one goal whilst scoring seven, having won all three of their matches in the League so far if Rovers return from Anfield with a point this will represent a very good result. With current form Rovers would very much hope, if maybe not expect this to be the case?
UEFA Thu 19th Kick-off 15:45 - Wisla Krakow (a)
Wisla Krakow of the Polish League are currently unbeaten in the Polish League, and have already played an extra European tie more than Rovers having entered the competition in the second and final round of qualifying. Austrian side SV Mattersburg were dispatched 2-1 on aggregate.
In the first round Wisla won through after extra time 2-1 on aggregate against Greek side Iraklis, having lost the first leg 1-0.
Not a lot is known about the Polish outfit, so they are the outsiders of the group but will not be easy. The trip to Poland will not be easy for Rovers, and although Mark Hughes would be looking for a win to help ease Rovers' passage through the group phase maybe a point would not represent a bad return?
PREM Sun 22nd 15:00 - Bolton (h)
Bolton Wanderers currently lie in 3rd place in the Premiership with 14 points from their seven matches played, three more than Rovers.
The local derby match will see Andy Todd, if he features come up against his former side, a side that would get rid of him following a training ground incident with former Bolton assistant Phil Brown. Kevin Davies would be up against his former club Rovers if he plays, having seen a BIG money move to Ewood Park a few years back go horribly wrong.
Last season, on the 14th January 2006, in front of an Ewood Park crowd of 18,180 Bolton made the short trip home with a point following a 0-0 draw. Bolton would play 57 minutes of the match with ten men having had the on loan Japanese International Hidetoshi Nakata sent off after 33 minutes.
With Bolton winning one, losing one and drawing the other of their three away matches in the League so far it is tough to call. Having only conceded away from the Reebok Stadium, and with Rovers free scoring at home Mark Hughes will see this as a chance of three points, anything less than a point will be almost unacceptable despite Bolton`s fine start to the season.
LGE CUP Wed 25th 20:00 - Chelsea (h)
With Chelsea the current Premiership Champions and with so much quality at their disposal any game with them is a tough encounter, even if they field a "weakened" side.
The last League Cup meeting, on the 15th October 1997, in the front of an Ewood Park crowd of 18,671 would see Chelsea return to London with a place in the next round. Billy McKinlay would give Rovers a half time lead only for Roberto Di Matteo to send the game into extra time, in which Gianluca Vialli would be sent off. With the match going to penalties Chelsea would still win 4-1.
If Mark Hughes sends out his strongest possible starting eleven Rovers will have a chance of repeating their 1-0 Premiership win at Ewood last season, but will have to be at their very best. Even a "weakened" Chelsea side should have enough quality to cause most teams problems, with Rovers being no exception.
PREM Sun 29th 16:00 - West Ham (a)
West Ham United currently lie in 17th place in the Premiership with 5 points from their seven matches played, 6 fewer than Rovers.
If he plays, ex Rovers player Christian Dailly will come up against his former side, although the former Hammers captain is now finding first team football hard to come across at Upton Park.
Last season, on the 13th August 2005, in front of an Upton Park crowd of 33,305 Rovers would be beaten 3-1, despite taking a first half lead through Andy Todd. Second half goals from Teddy Sheringham, Nigel Reo-Coker and Matthew Etherington condemned Rovers to defeat with the misery compounded with substitute Paul Dickov's 81st minute dismal, only nine minutes after his arrival.
Having lost two of their four home matches and four of their seven in total this season Rovers will feel that the struggling West Ham will be there for the taking. Despite being their fifth match in fifteen days Rovers will hope they can summon up the energy to end the month with three points.
How do you think the month will pan out? Why not have your say by posting a comment below...
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