Date:Wednesday September 27 2006
Thursday 28th September 2006
Red Bull Salzburg are in town and stand in the way of Rovers qualifying for the group stages of the UEFA Cup for only the second time in their history.
Confidence is high in the Rovers camp as a few nerves begin to become embedded in the Salzburg squad.
Salzburg will be aggressive, looking for an early goal. The first goal will be vital, but Rovers have demonstrated plenty of character and resolve in recent weeks to suggest they will stand up to the challenge of Salzburg.
Mark Hughes on Rovers form: "We are on a run of four games unbeaten now, so it's a decent run and we're looking ahead to Salzburg."
Hughes on the squad: "In terms of confidence we couldn`t be in any better shape. We`ve put in a number of good performances since the first leg and that has helped us confidence wise."
Hughes on Salzburg: "We acknowledge that Salzburg are a dangerous side. They are going well in their league, they have accomplished players and a great management team, so we will have to be at our best."
Andre Ooijer on his form: "But even now the fans have still not seen the best of me yet-they`ve not seen the half of it, which is why I`m confident there is more to come as things improve everyday."
Long term absentees Ryan Nelsen, Steven Reid and Jason Roberts are still out, even though it appeared at one stage that Roberts might be fit.
The continued absence of Reid and Roberts in particular will be very frustrating for Hughes as neither expected to be sidelined for this amount of time.
This will likely mean Shabani Nonda will continue alongside Benni McCarthy in attack, especially after opening his Rovers account on Saturday.
Francis Jeffers also returns after missing the 1-0 win against Middlesbrough through illness.
Rovers from: Friedel, Neill, Khizanishvili, Tugay, Emerton, Savage, Bentley, Nonda, McCarthy, Pedersen, Mokoena, Jeffers, Gallagher, Ooijer, Brown, Gray, Peter, McEveley.
Rovers` midfield maestro will continue in the middle of the park alongside Robbie Savage. The slower pace of the European game suits Tugay and he will be hoping to use it to maximum effect. Salzburg will no doubt press looking for the goals to turn this fixture on its head. This will open up space and leave them exposed at the back and with Tugay`s vision Rovers will be hoping to carve the Austrians open on more than one occasion.
Trapattoni will likely revert back to a 4-4-2 formation which will mean the inclusion of in form super sub Mark Janko. He has been continuing his heroic exploits from the bench since his sensational injury time equaliser against Rovers. Meyer will be the man to make way.
All of Trapattoni`s experienced individuals will be fit and present, eager to demonstrate they still have the ability to compete on the European stage.
Salzburg from: Ochs, Bodnar, Carboni, Kovac, Linke, Dudic, Jezek, Tiffert, Meyer, Kirchler, Lokvenc, Zickler, Janko, Knavs, Pitak, Vonlanthen, Vargas, Janocko
He undoubtedly carries the 'biggest` threat to Rovers` chances of progression. He showed what a menace he can be in the first leg and his confidence certainly isn`t faltering. Ooijer will have to be at the top of his game to contend with Janko.
If Rovers win then it will only be their second European victory in eighteen attempts.
This Salzburgs sixth European game of the season.
Salzburg will be aggressive once they find their feet early on. If Rovers can strike in this opening period then that will force Salzburg out and traditionally they don`t perform well when the pressure is on. Rovers will go on to score the first goal, likely from a set-play as Salzburg seem to have trouble with them, before rounding off a rampaging 3-1 win.
Wigan Athletic at Ewood Park on Sunday 1st October 2006
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Date:Wednesday September 27 2006
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