Date:Saturday January 26 2008
26th January 2007
It`s F.A. Cup weekend and all the excitement is there for the upsets and major talking points. Rovers travel to Villa Park to play Aston Villa in one of the rounds all Premiership… wait, oh that`s right it is a Premiership game as both clubs were knocked out of the cup three weeks ago.
Still it represents a very important fixture in the race for Europe. Villa are having a tremendous season whereas Rovers are keeping in touch with the leaders of the UEFA race; just!
A lot of the talk is about Rovers looking for revenge and you can understand why. Villa have beaten Mark Hughes` men three times in a row now and another victory will see a double Villa double against the blue and white halves.
The spanking that was dished out at Ewood Park in November was an unfair reflection of a game that could have been so different had a linesman made the correct decision. Benni McCarthy opened the scoring that with a wonderful curling attempt but it was ruled out for a poor offside decision.
Villa then went on and won handsomely and Rovers began to languish a little in the league. McCarthy has lost his touch all together but it could all have been so different.
Now though, with Rovers performing better away there is a distinct chance that the bad run against Villa could change, however, it will take a grand effort.
Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
'Gareth Barry's got to be really sore to miss a game, you know what he's like.
'The recovery period was good to begin with and then it stayed kind of the same for a number of days.
'We'll see how he gets on. Obviously we'd love to have him back for Saturday if at all possible.'
Rovers boss Mark Hughes:
'Fourth spot has been a closed shop in recent years, but not this season.
'We're still in there battling away, and we've got two huge games coming up against teams that are in and around us.
'We need to take points off them if we're going to finish above them come the end of the season.'
Villa have considerable doubts about whether or not their talismanic leader, Gareth Barry, will be fit in time. There are also concerns surrounding the situation with Olof Mellberg. He is due to sign a pre-contract with Juventus and O`Neil will check on his frame-of-mind before deciding whether or not to select him.
Villa from: Carson, Taylor, Sorensen, Mellberg, Laursen, Davies, Knight, Cahill, Bouma, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Barry, Gardner, Young, Berger, Agbonlahor, Carew, Maloney, Moore.
He terrorised Rovers last time out so will need to be watched. It may even require us defending deep because of his pace.
Ryan Nelsen has been told to rest this week so his place in the team will go to Zurab Khizanishvili who has this week penned a new three year contract with Rovers.
Jason Roberts is hoping to keep his place but McCarthy could get a look in.
Rovers from: Friedel, Ooijer, Samba, Khizanishvili, Warnock, Emerton, Bentley, Pedersen, Dunn, Reid, Tugay, McCarthy, Santa Cruz, Roberts, Berner, Derbyshire, Gallagher, Olsson, Rigters, Treacy, Brown.
He has been tremendous this season and it is little wonder so many clubs are interested in him. If he can put in another belter Rovers stand a good chance of coming away from the game with something.
Villa have only conceded two goals in their last six home Premier League games against Blackburn. They were scored by Garry Flitcroft and Jon Stead in Rovers' 0-2 victory on 20 March 2003; the only occasion Villa dropped points in the six games.
Howard Webb takes charge of another Rovers v Villa battle.
This could be a tight game, but I guess everyone would have expected the same earlier in the season. However, that everything went for Villa and has done in recent games between the two sides. However, could this be the day that Rovers` fortunes improve against Villa? It`s hard to see it happening such is the high level of performance O`Neil has his troops performing at. The best Rovers can hope for therefore is a draw and probably something to the tune of 2-2.
Everton up next at Ewood.
Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!
Date:Saturday January 26 2008
Scotland Omit Rovers Duo (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Former Rovers Goalkeeper Friedel Retires (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Where Does The Time Go!! (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Retained List Confirmed (Saturday May 16 2015)
Pre-Season Plans Revealed (Saturday May 16 2015)
Rovers Announce New Sponsorship Deal (Tuesday May 12 2015)
Robbo Returning To Leeds?? (Tuesday May 12 2015)
Family Excellence Award For Rovers (Tuesday May 12 2015)
Dunn And Dusted (Tuesday May 12 2015)
Williamson: You Love Him Or Hate Him!! (Tuesday May 12 2015)
|8. Derby County||46||21||14||11||29||77|
|Birmingham Eye Released Wednesday Forward
» Birmingham : 23/05/2015 09:41:01
|Darren Randolph set for move to Premier League
» Birmingham : 23/05/2015 09:30:00
|RUFC - Which Loanee Would You Like Back?
» Rotherham : 23/05/2015 09:16:00
|LUFC Pearson - Leeds looking to recruit quickly
» Leeds Utd : 23/05/2015 08:36:01
|LUFC Leeds looking to build off the field
» Leeds Utd : 23/05/2015 07:23:00