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Premier League

  • 14 May 2011
  • • 12:45
  • • Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 29867
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Blackburn Rovers - Manchester United Preview: Sir Alex Ferguson's men looking to continue undefeated record & win the Premier League at Ewood Park

Blackburn Rovers - Manchester United Preview: Sir Alex Ferguson's men looking to continue undefeated record & win the Premier League at Ewood Park

Rovers have not been able to muster up a victory in their last nine league games against the Red Devils, and the visitors need only a single point to wrap up the title


PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Blackburn Rovers (4-5-1): Robinson; Emerton, Samba, Givet, Olsson; Diouf, J Jones, N'Zonzi, P Jones, Hoilett; Roberts.

Phil Jones missed the 1-1 draw with West Ham United due to a back injury, and could feature despite remaining a doubt for this game. Along with the youngster, full-back Michel Salgado is also expected to return to the fold.

There are also doubts concerning the fitness of David Dunn (calf) and Nikola Kalinic, who has been recovering from illness.

Manchester United (4-4-2): Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs; Rooney, Berbatov.


Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is likely field a strong line-up to make sure his side are not still fighting for the title come the final day of the season.

Rafael and Darren Fletcher both came through a game with the reserves, and could be expected to get some playing time under their belt prior to the Champions League final at the end of the month.

Owen Hargreaves (hamstring) and Anders Lindegaard (knee) remain sidelined.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Blackburn Rovers have not beaten Sir Alex Ferguson's men in their last nine meetings in the Premier League. The last time these two teams met in the league was at Old Trafford, when Rovers were handed out a 7-1 hammering.

  • Steve Kean's men have won only one of their last 12 games in the league, and are currently three points above 18th-placed Blackpool.
  • Apart from Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City (both 19), Blackburn have scored the lowest number of goals at home this season - having hit the net only 21 times at Ewood Park.
  • If all matches ended at half-time, Rovers would have now been in sixth position, fighting for a Europa League spot with Liverpool.
  • Dimitar Berbatov (pictured right) scored five goals in the 7-1 victory earlier in the season. He has scored a total of six goals in five matches against Rovers.
  • The Red Devils have scored 73 goals through the course of their league campaign. This is the most by any club in the top-flight this season.
  • United have been poor on their travels of late, winning one and losing three of their last five games on the road. In total, they have lost only four matches, all of which were away from home.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Paul RobinsonGoalkeeper
27Michel SalgadoDefender
22Christopher SambaDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
5Gaël GivetDefender
23Martin OlssonDefender
7Brett EmertonMidfielder
13Jermaine JonesMidfielder
15Steven N'ZonziMidfielder
23Junior HoilettStriker
30Jason RobertsStriker
13Mark BunnGoalkeeper
8David DunnMidfielder
12M. PedersenMidfielder
17Keith AndrewsMidfielder
9Nikola KalinicStriker
9Roque Santa CruzStriker
25BenjaniStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
5Rio FerdinandDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
35Fabio Da SilvaDefender
17NaniMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
14Javier HernándezStriker
40Ben AmosGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
8AndersonMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
10Michael OwenStriker
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
Players to Watch
Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Judging by the last Premier League meeting between the two sides, goalkeeper Paul Robinson will have a difficult task on his hands.

Rovers are still fighting for survival, and a point would likely be a great boost to their hopes of securing a top-flight spot for next season.

And having scored only a handful of goals recently, they would have to rely on the services of the former England goalkeeper to deny the opposition to take anything away from the tie.
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
1 1 0 0
Wayne Rooney usually loves the limelight on the pitch, and should be fired up to do the damage up front - to officially get United past the finish line at Ewood Park.

And scoring in this game would also go some way in justifying that he may have finally vanquished the form demons that haunted him earlier in the season.
Prediction
Blackburn have trouble scoring while United have been in poor form on their travels. But at the same time, form counts for nothing when one team is battling for survival while the other is itching to win the title.

But even an inspired Rovers side may not be enough to stop the Manchester United machine in its tracks, on a day that should see them make history by finally overtaking Liverpool in the number of league titles won (19).
Editor's Prediction

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