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

Blackburn Rovers vs. Everton

Ewood Park

Saturday 2nd February

15:00

Rovers v Everton

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!

Vital Quotes:

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'.

Ref Watch:

Alan Wiley is the referee.

Match Prediction:

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.

Next Fixtures:

Arsenal at the Emirates is next.




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The Journalist

Writer: Roversman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 2 2008

Time: 11:58AM

Your Comments

A big game and one we have to look to win if we are going to press on and mount a serious challenge.
roversman
I hope gamst does score, and we win, because we will be needing his spark as the burden of playing for your country might have an effect on bentley. However i think benni mac will make an appearnace and score a goal. hoping for a win but i think it will be a 2-2 draw
sasman
Tough game for you guys, although one I think you can win. If you win this one it'll throw you right into the mix for a european spot, possibly even CL. How far are you lot hoping to go? Where do you all think you'll finish?
spurjon
id love to finish 4th, but we have to be realistic, 6th or 7th for us
sasman
One of my fave fixtures of the year.. Got my thermals on for this one, it's freezing out!
martinr
I really hope we can get three points today. We're due a result against the Toffees.
roversman
Going to be a close game, so going to go for a 1-1 draw!!
will it ever happen
0-0 full time, we escaped with a fortunate offside decision, however santa had a chance at the end, and benni had a chance also
sasman
great game to watch, and a brilliant performance from the fans! Ewood was rocking!!
martinr
Was a good atmoshpere to day guys. Everton certainly played their part as well. Good blood and thunder game. A draw was the correct result.
MikeyGamst
Agreed! Lot of banter with the scousers!
martinr
Draw was a fair result, would of been nice to steal it at the end
sasman
I´m sorry that both of you couldn´t win, would be the best result considering where Pool are now in the table.
Blue is the colour
just back from the game myself (bloody flight was delayed) and i have to say i really enjoyed the day! lot of banter with the scousers before the match and the atmosphere was good too ayone know the attendance?
durks de rover
was bout to ask the same thing, the ground looked pretty full on tv
sasman
27,946 according to sky, not bad at all!
martinr
great game, but make no mistake were VERY lucky. I thought on the balance of play a draw was the right result, but Everton's goal was shockingly disallowed!
martinr
dunny and gamst are now suspended for the arsenal game, too many silly yellow cards
sasman
Agreed martinr, it was good goal from what I saw on tv, but hey, when you're fighting for the top places sometimes you need a break or two. Good result all things considered.
spurjon
It was a perfectly legit goal. But we are due some luck like that... decent point although Dunny and Morten are both suspended for the emirates trip now. The Pedersen booking was a disgrace.
MikeyGamst
I agree, it was a joke. But then Dunny was a lucky lad to still be on the field after that handball! (although I thought the yellow he actually got was harsh!)
martinr
martinr - I'm with you dude, I did think that we were lucky to get a point, but I'm happy with it in all honesty. Everton are a VERY good side, so avoiding defeat was the main thing against a European rival.
Hughes Da Man
We do get the rough end of the cards, and it is now costing us with samba, dunny and gamst suspended
sasman
Well it'll be Ooijer and Zurab at the back still and I am assuming thatb Tugay will play in place of Dunny and maybe Martin Olsson will be on left wing???
MikeyGamst
Olsson on the left wing sounds OKAY to me, but what about Sergio (is he still here?!?!) I know he is only young but we also have Keith Treacy don't we.
Hughes Da Man
The goal looked good to me, its a crying shame when they get it wrong. Still if it was the other way around :) swings and roundabouts i guess
pandapops
The offside rule is a joke but it did us a favour this time i spose!
BomBom
pandapops!!! always laugh when I see that name!!! lol... Sergio seems to have gone AWOL!!!
MikeyGamst
It hasnt quite evenedout the west ham decision though!!!!
MikeyGamst
 

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