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A Tall Order for Salzburg

Blackburn Rovers
vs.
Red Bull Salzburg

Ewood Park

Thursday 28th September 2006

19:45

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.

Vital Quotes:

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."

Blackburn Rovers Team News:

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.

Player to watch: Tugay

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.

Red Bull Salzburg Team News:

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

Player to watch: Marc Janko

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.

Match Facts & Stats

If Rovers win then it will only be their second European victory in eighteen attempts.

This Salzburgs sixth European game of the season.

Match Prediction:

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.

Next Fixtures:

Wigan Athletic at Ewood Park on Sunday 1st October 2006


Writer:Roversman
Date:Wednesday September 27 2006
Time: 9:12PM

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Comments

0
You've called 3-1, which is a good call. If Rovers score first Salzburg will HAVE to go for it in which case I could see rovers going 2-0 up, should this happen it could turn into a rout as they'd even go all out and leave themselves open or settle for a "respectable" defeat? Either way Rovers will do what is needed to advance with a win!
Hughes Da Man
27/09/2006 22:09:00
0
Salzberg have a good managment team but the team is nothing special, Hughes has put together a good, strong, honset working squad who @ home should have no trouble progressing to the group stages, i'd say 2-0 to Rovers
Clint
28/09/2006 09:55:00
0
Lets hope that most of the optimism here deosn't see Rovers disappointed later tonight!
Hughes Da Man
28/09/2006 10:53:00
0
i think it will be about 2 - 0 to us
marshinrover
28/09/2006 16:03:00
0
They'll quality of that I'm sure.
Hughes Da Man
28/09/2006 16:42:00
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