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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Tottenham Hotspurs vs. Blackburn Rovers

White Hart Lane

10th May 2007

20:00

On Sky

Spurs .v. Rovers

Games between Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur in recent years have been exciting and controversial. I feel this one will be no different.

A trip to London, not a happy visiting area for Rovers this season, on Thursday will see Mark Hughes` men battle it out for three more points to keep their UEFA Cup qualification hopes alive. These chances are slim, that much is true but, due to the incredible recent form, these hopes stay alive.

Tottenham have ambitions of their own but are almost certain to qualify for Europe. Does this mean they will be taking their foot off the gas? Unlikely.

An interesting sub-text to the game is the clash of the Premiership`s two star buys this season, Benni McCarthy and Dimitar Berbatov. Both have 22 goals to their name for the season and both are being muted with transfers to Man United and Chelsea. Who will win? Well I feel this holds the outcome of the result.

Vital Quotes:

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes: 'We will take either the Uefa Cup or the Intertoto Cup. We are still dependent on the results going for us but we can only try and win our games. We have put in a lot of work this year and hope to achieve something at the end of it.'

Tottenham Hotspurs Team News:

Riccardo Rocha is the only major concern for Martin Jol. He picked up a knock in the win over Charlton and is struggling to be fit. He is likely to be replaced by Anthony Gardner.
Tottenham (from): Robinson, Cerny, Alnwick, Chimbonda, Assou-Ekotto, Rocha, Dawson, King, Gardner, Ifil, Zokora, Tainio, Jenas, Murphy, Ghaly, Malbranque, Huddlestone, Lennon, Taarabt, C Lee, Barnard, Berbatov, Defoe, Keane.

Player to watch: Dimitar Berbatov

He has been brilliant following a slow start to his career in England. A few injuries blighted his progress early on but he has returned in glistening form scoring a variety of goals, all executed with immaculate skill. His movement is exceptional, and for a big man he has a bit of pace, Talal El Karkouri will testify that. He will be the danger and if the mighty God and Samba can keep him quiet then there is every chance of a shut out.

Blackburn Rovers Team News:

Mark Hughes is likely to start with the same team that beat Newcastle so comfortably as David Dunn is only rated 50/50 and Zurab Khizanishvili isn`t likely to feature again this season.
Blackburn (from): Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Bentley, Mokoena, Dunn, Pedersen, McCarthy, Roberts, Nonda, Tugay, Derbyshire, Brown, Henchoz, Gallagher, Todd, Peter.

Player to watch: Benni McCarthy

Well Dimitar is the focus for Spurs so Benni has to be the alternative for Rovers. He has surpassed all initial expectations with his scoring and a few more between now and the end of the campaign could see Rovers end a memorable season on a high. Whereas Berbatov poses a greater threat with his pace, McCarthy`s intelligence is what makes him stand out. Excellent link-up play with players he has formed close bonds with is evident each week.

Match Facts & Stats

Goals are expected on Thursday as it has been 26 games since Spurs last drew 0-0 and 32 since Rovers ended up with that score.

Rovers have scored in their last eleven consecutive games.

Both clubs go into the game on the back of consecutive wins and unbeaten in four.

Ref Watch:

Rob Styles is the man in the middle.

Match Prediction:

Most fixtures between the two clubs have ended in draws. This will be different. Last time Rovers won at the Lane it was inspired by a Yorke and Cole salvo which catapulted the club into Europe. Are there similarities here? Yes. Benni and Jason Roberts are being compared to Yorke and Cole and both are on form, plus a win would put Rovers in strong contention for a UEFA spot. Alas, this result won`t be the same, but the outcome will be. A Rovers 2-1 win inspired by the new Yorke and Cole.

Next Fixtures:

Last game of the season on Sunday against Reading.




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The Journalist

Writer: Roversman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 10 2007

Time: 9:46AM

Your Comments

You will finish 11th,you dont deserve Euro football as nobody turns up for the matches.............
chalky76
Chalky get stuffed, who do you support yoy****. We are here discussing football, we dont need ur trash and your last century mentality. If you dont like us, like ive said to that Arsenal guy who tried to raid our site, then get stuffed, we dont want you round here
sasman
We will finish in the top half of the table because we deserve to. Jol drowns on about how well spurs have done this season to be in the position they are and compete in the cups but he seems to forget that Rovers had a decent UEFA run, an excellent FA Cup run and are still managing to compete for UEFA. I would say we deserve to be in Europe wouldn't you chalky76?
roversman
cant wait for the game guys. Got my best mate over who is a spurs fan, with the game being at 5am my time, gonna be a long night, hope its a good one also cheers
sasman
As for tonight I do feel confident. A lack of luck saw us held to a draw at Ewood against the Spurs crew and with a bit of that over-due luck to complement the quality football we are playing at the moment and I feel confident that the Prem's current hottest strike force of Benni and JR will prevail for us.
roversman
Yeah chalky GET STUFFED mate you talk out your arse ALL the time. I would rather support a club with supporters that go about things in the right way than sooo many of you Spurs fans do (showing lack of respect to EVERYONE and ANYONE thinking you are the dogs nuts when you so clearly aren't) even in a half empty stadium!
Hughes Da Man
Yes, good point roversman (back to the game, which is where it will count!) I'm even more confident of a victory than I was when I predicted the 2-0, maybe 3-1 that sooo ofended so many Spurs fans. It WILL be a corker, between two very good and evenly matched sides. Both sides will be up for it but feel we'll be able to come away with three point, and I would LOVE it!
Hughes Da Man
Too true HDM, two evenly matched sides who are capable of destroying each other on their respective days. I just hope it is our day tonight...in fact it will be. Rovers to win and Benni to win!
roversman
Benni and JR to both get on the score sheet, IF we do conceed then it will most probably be a Berbatov goal.
Hughes Da Man
This will be a good game if the two teams play the way they both can. I really want a Blackburn win but can see a draw, just basically cos Spurs a drawn a lot recently, high scoring ones to, So heres to an entertaining match which I hope Rovers will edge
Clint
I think you have had a good season but think you will miss out on UEFA football. You have left your good run just a couple of games to late....expecting a 3-2 win to Spurs tonight plenty of goals!!!
matt..shelfsidespurs
The commonly agreed factor is it will be a good game, and it will!
Hughes Da Man
Matt at least you talk some common sense, good luck mate, hopefully no rubbish calls decide the game, rather a thriller of a game, jsut like last years game when u got up 3-2. hopefully we can turn that around lol
sasman
Clint, you knob, Spurs have won about 7 of the last 10, that is hardly drawing a lot is it? Plus we have doubbled our away wins tally in that time aswell!
Gavaldinho
Have to say also do need to look at the facts, hardly and draws recently for spurs!
huscarl
Ease up Gavaldinho, this is what one slip, it is nothing compared to the crap so many of the Spurs lot have come out with which has at times rightly seen myself and others call some of your lot several names under the sun, but the knob calling here was a little harsh waasn't it! I've gotten to know Clint VERY well and I know he wouldn't intentionally say something out of line (granted you don't know him.)
Hughes Da Man
Shelf side - Thing is, a week ago we were thinking we'd have to throw this match to get European football through intertoto - It's still debatable (if you were to get thumped by both us and City, and we lost to Reading, we'd have done ourselves out of a place.) Should be a close game, we have to go in as underdogs i'm afraid fellas, and it'll be a real test of Samba and Nelsen's positional skills as they certainly don't have the pace for this lot. However, the juicy comparison for me is Lennon (England place, but losing form at the moment) against Bentley (Worth a place, but not even been given a sniff yet) I'm intrigued to see who comes out best from those two.
Head Rover Heels
You clowns get beat at Charlton,Watford & West Ham so the likelyhood of you returning from London with anything other than spanked backsides is minimal.I repeat,you will not finish in the top half of the table.................
chalky76
On the flip side Head Rover Heels IF both City and ourselves thump Spurs and we beat Reading then they could miss out all together! An unlikely scenario I know, but you can never tell. I said on another teams site (maybe Wigan?!?!) when a Spurs fan said "they hoped Defoe wouldn't play as we'd kick him around" that in actual fact his pace would cause our defence problems as Samba and Nelsen aren't that mobile,so agree. It will be a test, but we've stood up to it against better sides (and I mean this with respect to Spurs as there REALLY is little between us!) so could do it again. I think Lennon is superb but can go missing for 60 minutes, but his turn of pace and flip off the switch could prove the difference. HOWEVER, Bents hasn't often gone missing has he, so if he's on his game from the off he could turn this game more than any other player.
Hughes Da Man
Chalky we are virtually assured of a top ten finish, victory tonight will make it impossible to finish any lower than tenth, hardly below the top half, even defeat and we are still likely to finish tenth!
Hughes Da Man
Spot on fella - For me, this is one of those truly uncallable games. If they're on form, and we play like we did against Villa, then we're in for a painful night, on the other hand - if we're on top form then they'll have a serious job to contain us. Here's hoping Roberts keeps it up, Bents and MGP are at the races, and Benni starts properly enjoying himself - Could be a real treat even for the neutrals tonight.
Head Rover Heels
Uncallable games..??Have you had a look at our home record..??Have you had a look at your away record..??Oh & its not the pace of Lennon you should worry about,its the pace that we knock the ball about that"s going to leave your midfield knackered & chasing shadows.The thought of Samba trying to cope with Berbatov leaves me even more confident..............
chalky76
Samba and Nelsen habe more than dealt with Drogba this season, you put Drogba on the same level as Berbatov, so we can cope with him (IF we perform to our best!) Chalky have you looked at our recent form AND performances I really, really hope that you are taken by surprise tonight mate as if we play like we can you could well be regretting sooo much of what has been said. It is a REALLY even game and hard to call, it may well come down to who wants it the most!
Hughes Da Man
Drogba is a target man,nothing more nothing less.Hoof it 60yds up to his head is his game.Berbatov has made mugs of the best defenders in World Football,which is something that Samba & Nelson are not.Crikes,anyone would look good when you have had Andy Todd to marvel at...!!
chalky76
HAHAHA, the "superior" team is losing at half time to a goal from a player not fit to lace Dimi the uber god's boots. The Spuds havent had a sniff thanks to some good defending from Samba and Nelsen. Theyve had defoe and Dimi in their pockets so far.
BomBom
So the almighty all conquering Spuds are equal to us after all!!! Not the result we wanted but i gotta say it, 3-0? 4-1? STICK THAT UP YER ARSE YOU COCKY, ARROGANT SPUDS FANS!!! (Some fans excepted, you lads know who they are!)
BomBom
Was really expecting you lot to pull it off, yer first half was solid, and Sambas header that almost broke the crossbar should have gone in. Unfortunatelly the better team didnt win tonight. as them useless t o s s pot spuds stole 2 pts from you. And regarding Droggs...., I still think that Rovers put up the best fight against us in the PL this season. Allready looking forward to next one.
Blue is the colour
Oh, and ignore Chalky76, hes a complete **** WIT. :)
Blue is the colour
To be fair BomBom not one Blackburn fan predicted anything less then a win either, just 2 sets of fans confident in their own teams ability no need to get so leery me thinks
Phartman87
Great now we have to win at the bridge for 5th, hope you finish above pompey though been as you actualy WANT europe.
EvertonMike
Mike, we are about to destroy Pools "unbeaten homerecord" here, all we have to do is to beat you....sorry...has to be done, Im sure you understand. :)
Blue is the colour
Blue is the colour, as much as I would like to agree that the better team lost two points realistically we didn't. Samba SHOULD have scored, if he did we would have won, but I think a draw was about fair wasn't it.
Hughes Da Man
Phartman the predicting wins from either side is understandable, it was the arrogant "we're gonna stuff you 4-0, 4-1 etc.", "you'll be lucky to score let alone win", "you'll come for a point as that is ALL you know you will get". This is why BomBom is getting "leery" and rightly so.
Hughes Da Man
EvertonMike, Portsmouth want Europe too you know, maybe they haven't applied for the Intertoto Cup (but they still might?!?!) and I think they may just get it as I think we'll beat Reading, can't see Bolton beating Villa but can see Portsmouth beating Arsenal, this would see Portsmouth finish seventh and Bolton eighth so we miss out.
Hughes Da Man
Well all finished even, not really what either team wanted. Rover you had great first half, and we had the second, so guess fair result.goodluck with next seasons campaign, and your remaining game!
huscarl
Cheers huscarl, think a draw was probably best ALL round really. I was dreading defeat and the fall out, but the Spurs fall out in defeat would have been EVEN worse :) Good luck for the last game and in next season's UEFA Cup.
Hughes Da Man
When i say want i mean embrace the competition, the reason it is judged as 2nd rate is as fans treat it so and it deserves respect! Don't give up hope either, i was ready to just give up when we got beat by hammers then threw the united game away, but the lads responded, i think you will take reading to the cleaner tbh, at the end of the day blackburn are a better team than reading, pompey, bolton end of. Blue is the colour, as much as i want you to beat the other sides record, to finish 5th would be a massive achievement after the players we have missed the last few games, our strikeforce at the mo had played a combined 2 sub appearcnes before this year.
EvertonMike
 

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