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The Curtain Comes Down

Blackburn Rovers

Ewood Park

13th May 2007


Well the curtain finally comes down on what has once again been a very eventful season at Ewood Park. Pulsating adventures across Europe, a demolition of Chelsea (without reward) in another domestic cup semi-final and the goal-scoring exploits of a world class striker are some of the highlights.

Unfortunately, though, it appears as though the season will end without any recognisable reward. A win against Reading will strengthen our claim for the Intertoto so hopefully results won`t transpire against us and we can claim that spot for an early wake up call to the next campaign.

Mark Hughes will want to finish the season strongly as will Benni McCarthy. His claims in the press this weekend that he wants to sign for Chelsea will have come as a blow to Rovers but I doubt it is an indication that he is unhappy. He will want to keep scoring as he has an outside chance of winning the golden boot, if he scores a hat-trick!

Let`s not forget Reading`s achievements though this season. They have been a true pleasure to watch and deserve all the plaudits they have had. I expect them to become an established Premiership side and that is why Sunday`s game will be difficult.

However, I feel both teams will make an effort but their will be a relaxed 'end of season` feel to the match. It will make for a good spectacle I`m sure with a stack of goals.

Vital Quotes:

Reading boss Steve Coppell: 'This game is not high on pressure. we will just go there and do our normal stuff. From the game here, they were one of the hardest teams we've played. They don't give much away at the back and, looking at them going forward, you would think they may be higher, but Europe may have affected them.'

Mark Hughes on Europe: "We haven't got a problem with the Intertoto at all, we have planned for it,' said Hughes. I always felt we'd give it a good go to try to get in the UEFA Cup by league position, if it wasn't to be then we applied as we feel that the Intertoto is a route that we want to follow.
'It is an opportunity to play in Europe again and if we can get that place that is on offer then it will be a decent season for us.

Blackburn Rovers Team News:

Jason Roberts is suspended thanks to the ludicrous red card given to him by Rob Styles in midweek. This could mean a chance for Matt Derbyshire or Shabani Nonda.

Elsewhere, David Dunn could return for the last game but its unlikely.

Rovers from: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Bentley, Mokoena, Dunn, Pedersen, McCarthy, Nonda, Tugay, Derbyshire, Berner, Brown, Henchoz, Gallagher, Peter.

Player to watch: Blackburn Rovers

He will be desperately trying to find those goals to win him the Golden Boot but I feel it is worth sitting back and watching the whole team for the last game of the season. Another sterling effort from a team that is oozing with potential and, with the right signings and keeping hold of the stars, can make a real impression next season. So sit back and watch a whole team putting on a great display.

Reading Team News:

Steve Sidwell, one of Readings players of the season won`t feature as it is being widely tipped that he will sign for Chelsea in the next few days.

Reading are also missing a number of key names. Glen Little (Achilles), Graeme Murty (calf), Bobby Convey (knee) and Ibrahima Sonko (knee) are all absent.

Reading: Hahnemann, Federici, Halford, de la Cruz, Ingimarsson, Duberry, Bikey, Shorey, Seol, Oster, Gunnarsson, Harper, Hunt, Kitson, Doyle, Lita, Long, Sidwell.

Player to watch: Readings Rapid Attack

The front men have been revelations this season for Reading, in fact the whole squad has. However, the threat from Leroy Lita and Kevin Doyle, with Dave Kitson will mean it is going to be a busy afternoon for Rovers.

Match Facts & Stats

In eight previous meeting between the clubs Reading have only won once, way back in 1986.

Rovers have once more been dealt the most red cards in the Prem, seven.

A total of twenty penalties have been awarded in Rovers games, a far cry from that period a few years back when we went 49 games without being awarded one.

Ref Watch:

Alan Wiley will oversee this game.

Match Prediction:

This game will be competitive but will still have an end of the season feel to it. I fancy Rovers extra attacking quality to shine through and a fair few goals will be scored. I was almost right with my prediction I the Charlton match but feel I will have more success this time. Rovers to win 4-2. Benni to bag a brace.

Next Fixtures:

Well it could be anywhere from Eastern Europe to Wales depending on qualification for the Intertoto Cup. I predict a game against Bodo Glimit!

Date:Saturday May 12 2007
Time: 5:58PM

Best of International Football News



Ahh the mighty Bodo Glimit, I was looking to avoid these dude to be honest!
Hughes Da Man
12/05/2007 18:04:00
In an ideal world we would have liked to have feilded some youngsters (I know Sparky wanted to!) but as it is if we lose to Reading we will be screwed anyway!!! I'm still more than 75% sure that Bolton WON'T win, so if Reading beat us Bolton would take the Intertoto Cup spot and Reading the automatic place! Ironic isn't it that one side (Rovers) are GAGGING for Europe next season, the other (Reading) are DEAD against it! I see goals too mate, we'll want ot put on a show for the fans so 5-3 Rovers! OK maybe a little over the top?!?! Benni with 2, maybe 3 to sign off his Rovers career with the Golden Boot! Oh and Derbs will score as well.
Hughes Da Man
12/05/2007 18:10:00
They are the bane of my existence on Champ...whenever I draw them I dread it. Woould love it to come true though, Rovers drawing them that is, not losing to them! Tell you what it will be predicition of the season if it comes off though! Lets make sure we get that Intertoto spot first though.
12/05/2007 18:11:00
IF we get that Intertoto Cup spot dude you better get down the bookies sharpish and get something, anthing on us drawing them, then we can start calling you "Nostradamous" (however it's spelt!) LOL!
Hughes Da Man
12/05/2007 18:16:00
Come on then people let's be hearing some predictions! Lawro fancies a 2-0 ROVERS win (shock horror!) I still like roversman 4-2 but don't bet against my 5-3 with a Benni hat trick.
Hughes Da Man
12/05/2007 18:32:00
A home win to end a season that didn't quite live up to expectations (for both of us)
12/05/2007 19:36:00
If Lawro has predicted a win for Rovers, quite frankly, we're ****ed lol. I hope that we get the chips to fall our way and grab inter two bob qualification and Benni gets 4 goals to finish the season as Top dog. Rovers 4 Royals 1
12/05/2007 21:29:00
merlin - At the start of the season in my preview, along with other things I said "Anything less than a top half finish will be a failure for the club, a top 10 place though not assured will surely happen, although I still feel the top 6 has to be the target, and will indeed be achieved. We would hope for, and probably even expect Quarter-Final places at least in the FA and League Cups with the group stages of the UEFA Cup the minimum the club should settle for. Progress through the groups of the UEFA Cup into the two legged knockout games and anything would be possible". So yep the League has probably been a disappointment but the gap between most teams below the top four is minimal now so we've done well, just not quite well enough.
Hughes Da Man
13/05/2007 00:17:00
BomBom - It is a worry is Lawro tips us isn't it. I'm sure we'll win and feel sure Benni will get the two goals that he will need to probably share the golden boot, he may even got three to win it outright?!?! Still think Bolton will falter so we'll miss out as I can't see another weekend like the last one when pretty much all teams screwed up.
Hughes Da Man
13/05/2007 00:19:00
Lookin hard though. The best we can finish is 8th, thats if Portsmouth lose and we beat reading by 4 goals, that will give us intertoto. The other option is if we win and portsmouth also win, but we dont make up the for and against, leaving us in 9th. We could still makie intertoto as long as reading dont apply for it
13/05/2007 10:12:00
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