Rovers Entertain Toffees
23rd August 2006
The first Premiership match of the season at Ewood Park sees Rovers entertain Everton. Mark Hughes will be hoping his men bounce straight back from the 3-0 weekend defeat to Portsmouth.
Mark Hughes on Portsmouth match:
"We'll pick ourselves up, we can't dwell on this, we've 37 games to come."
"It is a poor start from our point of view, but I think you'll see a different performance on Wednesday."
"The good thing, and I know a lot of managers and players say it after a poor result and a poor performance but the good news is that we have a game at home on Wednesday night."
Rovers Team News:
Mark Hughes will have to make changes defensively. Ryan Nelsen's injury will see him out until early in September. Dominic Matteo and Zurab Khizanishvili are still struggling with groin injuries.
Lucas Neill is suspension after his red card at Portsmouth, Tugay continues his suspension but Andy Todd`s red has been withdrawn so he is free to play.
Rovers from - Friedel, Khizanishvili, Savage, McCarthy, Reid, Bentley, Emerton, Gamst Pedersen, Mokoena, Jeffers, Gallagher, Roberts, Douglas, McEveley, Derbyshire, Gray, Kuqi, Peter, Brown.
Player to watch: Morten Gamst Pedersen
The Norwegian will hopefully be able to get into the game more at Ewood Park than he, along with most others could at Fratton Park on Saturday.
Everton Team News:
A dead leg could see Nuno Valente missing. Should the Portuguese International not make it summer signing Joleon Lescott, or Scottish International Gary Naysmith will take his place. David Weir will miss the game with a groin injury.
Everton from - Howard, Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Stubbs, Valente, McFadden, Davies, Osman, Arteta, Cahill, Carsley, Kilbane, Johnson, Beattie, Wright, Anichebe, Pistone, Naysmith.
Player to watch: Andrew Johnson
The England International scored on his debut, and is a constant threat for opposing teams. Keeping him quiet could be the difference between Rovers getting at least a point and losing.
Match Facts & Stats
A match between two of the oldest clubs in English history both founder members of the football league.
Rovers had the worst disciplinary record of any other Premiership side last season, Saturday's two reds is a bad start to 2006/2007 (although Todd's has been withdrawn.)
Rovers haven't lost their opening two Premiership games since the 1996/1997 season, beaten at home by Tottenham then away by Aston Villa.
Everton's win at Watford would be their first opening day win in five seasons.
Everton have only won their opening two Premiership games once, this coming in the 1993/1994 season, beating Southampton at the Dell then Manchester City at Goodison Park.
Everton won both meetings last season without conceding a goal.
Previous League Meetings
Blackburn 54 wins, Everton 54 wins, Draws 28
Premiership - Blackburn 11 wins, Everton 10 wins, Draws 3
Previous League Meetings At Ewood Park
Blackburn 37 wins, Everton 17 wins, Draws 14
Premiership - Blackburn 5 wins, Everton 5 wins, Draws 2
Rovers will not want to equal a ten year old record by losing both their opening games, although Everton will be tough opponents as they are a team looking for a top 6 place. Had Rovers not been hammered on Saturday I'd go for a home win, but think a point would be acceptable, so a scoring draw.
Sunday 27th August versus Chelsea at Ewood Park, 16:00 kick-off. LIVE on Sky Sports.