Blackburn welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Ewood park on Sunday with Rovers sitting bottom of the Premier League table. Steve Kean’s team badly need a victory, while sixth place Spurs want to continue their impressive recent form.
Blackburn have endured a disappointing start to the season, with their only victory coming in the surprising 4-3 win over Arsenal at Ewood Park. Luck shone on Steve Kean’s charges that day as two own goals and a brace from Yakubu helped Rovers overcome a lack of possession and general dearth of opportunities.
Apart from the Arsenal match, Blackburn have only managed two away draws against Fulham and QPR. Rovers started the season with three defeats against Wolves, Aston Villa and Everton and also lost heavily to Newcastle and Manchester City.
Spurs had a stuttering start to the season as they lost heavily to the two Manchester clubs. United won 3-0 at Old Trafford, while four goals from Edin Dzeko helped City to a 5-1 victory at White Hart Lane.
Harry Redknapp’s charges have since reignited their season. Victories over Wolves, Liverpool, Wigan and Arsenal and a draw against Newcastle have seen Spurs rise to sixth in the table with a game in hand.
Spurs will be confident of beating an underperforming Blackburn team. Rovers have already conceded 18 goals, second most in the Premier League, and have only scored nine goals in eight matches, with four of those in one match.
Spurs’ impressive quartet of Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale, Scott Parker and Luka Modric should get the better of an ever-changing Blackburn midfield. Van der Vaart has rediscovered his prolific scoring of last season, scoring in three consecutive Premier league matches.
Emmanuel Adebayor has been in terrific form since joining Spurs on loan, amassing three goals and four assists in his first four matches, and the striker should cause a host of problems for Chris Samba and Scott Dann in the Blackburn rearguard.
Ryan Nelson is still injured so Samba and Dann should continue their partnership at the back. David Dunn and Morten Gamst Pederson could return for Blackburn, while Kean must choose between Yakubu, David Goodwillie, Ruben Rochina and Jason Roberts up front.
Harry Redknapp rested the majority of his first team for the Europa League encounter with Rubin Kazan on Thursday and should have a relatively fit squad to choose from on Sunday. Scott Parker, Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart were rested against the Russian side but should return to the fold for the trip to Blackburn.
Spurs do have some worries in defence. Ledley King (groin), Michael Dawson (Achilles), William Gallas (calf) and Vedran Corluka (foot) are all unavailable. Sebastien Bassong, who has once again said he wants to leave Spurs, is likely to start alongside Younes Kaboul in central defence. Tom Huddlestone will also be missing with an ankle injury.