Rovers v Everton
Saturday 2nd February
It`s time that Rovers sorted out their home form, it`s imperative if the push for Europe is going to gain speed.
The problem lies in the lack of confidence to defend at the moment. That is affecting how aggressive and attacking the team play. Because we concede regularly at the moment we fear committing too many men forward therefore not making the most of our possession and not trying enough attempts on goal.
However, last week`s strong display against Aston Villa should have filled the team with confidence, even though we are now missing Chris Samba after he received his TENTH yellow card of the season.
We out-played the impressive Everton for large parts earlier in the season during the 1 - 1 draw and we`ll need to see a similar display on Saturday.
Saturday also marks the one year anniversary since Morten Gamst Pedersen last scored a Premier League goal - so there isn`t a more pertinent time to end that run!
Everton defender Joleon Lescott: 'It's a massive game for us to consolidate fourth spot.
'Blackburn are pushing for Europe, so it's going to be a big game for us.
'They've been on a good run, picking up some vital results, so it's going to be another tough game up there.'
Mark Hughes on European qualification: 'We're very much on target. People seem to forget we haven't been beaten for six games in the league.
'The top four is a possibility but we are realistic in our aims. We've been in Europe the last two seasons.
'If we can get into Europe again, that is a huge achievement for us given the teams in and around us with the same ambitions and the resources they have.'
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Ryan Nelsen is still absent and Chris Samba is suspended so it could be a central defence comprising of Zurab Khizanishvili and Andre Ooijer. In attack there are questions about who will partner Roque Santa Cruz.
Rovers from: Friedel, Emerton, Ooijer, Samba, Warnock, Bentley, Pedersen, Dunn, Reid, Derbyshire, Santa Cruz, McCarthy, Roberts, Berner, Khizanishvili, Olsson, Rigters, Treacy, Tugay, Brown.
Player to watch: Morten Gamst Pedersen
Saturday is the day guys that he brings home the points with one of his stunners!
Everton Team News:
Everton have question marks over Tim Cahill and Leon Osman whilst debutant deadline day signing Anthony Gardner is struggling to be fit.
Everton from: Howard, Hibbert, Neville, Jagielka, Lescott, Valente, Baines, Arteta, Carsley, Cahill, Osman, Fernandes, Vaughan, Johnson, Anichebe, Van der Meyde, Wessels, Gosling.
Player to watch: Tim Cahill
If he figures he will be the danger. He has a history of scoring against Rovers!
Match Facts & Stats
Everton have won three and drawn two of five Premier League matches against Blackburn, since Rovers' 0-1 victory at Goodison Park on 24 April 2004, when Jon Stead was on target.
Since Blackburn won the Premier League title and Everton, the FA Cup in 1995, England's top two domestic competitions have been shared exclusively between the so-called 'Big Four'.
Alan Wiley is the referee.
This presents a big game in the chase for Europe. Everton deserve plenty of respect as David Moyes has put together an impressive side and they duly deserve to be where they are in the league. However, Rovers need to start taking advantage of these home fixtures. If our home form was as good as our away form we would be fourth and not Everton. This is going to be a difficult game and I can see either side edging it by the odd goal however Rovers have to start winning at home so Saturday will be the day. 2-1 Rovers and Morten to score.
Arsenal at the Emirates is next.