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Premier League

  • February 26, 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 34309

Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Blackburn Rovers

Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Blackburn Rovers

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Aston Villa: Friedel; Walker, Dunne, Collins, Clark; Downing, Bradley, Reo-Coker, Agbonlahor; Ashley Young; Bent.

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson; Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Olsson; Hoilett, Nzonzi, Dunn, Pedersen; Santa Cruz, Kalinic.


  • Aston Villa are looking to score their 500th Premier League goal at Villa Park on Saturday.
  • Villa have knocked Blackburn out of both the FA Cup and League Cup for the second consecutive season, winning every single tie.
  • But whilst Villa have the advantage in the cups, it is Rovers who have the upper hand in the league - winning their last three matches against Gerard Houllier's charges in the Premier League.
  • You have to go back to January 2008 for the last time the two sides drew a fixture, and remarkably, this will be the 11th meeting between them since that draw. This statistic is completely at odds with the Premier League history books - which tell us that there have been more draws at Villa Park (111) than at any other Premier League team.
  • Villa's 3-1 victory against Blackburn in the FA Cup at the end of January is the last time Villa won a game - with Houllier's men losing to Manchester United and then drawing against Fulham and Blackpool in their next three games.
  • The history books also have these two teams paired together on more than one occasion. The first ever game at Villa Park was a friendly between the two sides, and the biggest league defeat in Aston Villa's history also came against Saturday's opponents - a 7-0 drubbing by Rovers way back in 1899.
  • No Premier League side has hit the woodwork more than Aston Villa this season - with the Midlands team hitting the bar and post 16 times.
  • Despite sitting in 11th place in the table, Blackburn Rovers travel to Villa Park having not won in the Premier League since a 2-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion just over a month ago.
  • The league is so congested this season that although the hosts sit in 16th place, a win would see them leapfrog Steve Kean's Rovers - who sit two points and five places above them in 11th.
  • Blackburn's away form will likely be a worry for fans travelling south to Villa Park this Saturday. Steve Kean's men have gone 13 away games in the Premier League without keeping a clean sheet - losing six of their last seven away games and conceding 23 goals in the process.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, Blackburn are also the only Premier League team not to recoup any points from a game where they have been trailing this season.


January 29, 2011: Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn Rovers

Robert Pires scored his first goal for Villa as Gerard Houllier's men progressed through the all-Premier League FA Cup fourth round tie to make it five consecutive cup victories against Rovers.

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Players to watch

D. Bent

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The ex-Sunderland striker missed the meeting between these two sides in January as he was cup-tied, but will be looking to score his first Villa goal against Rovers this Saturday. The 27-year-old has scored 46 goals in the Premier League since the start of the 2008-09 season - with no other player netting more times in this period.

His pace and power, along with a natural instinct for finding the back of the net has seen the forward force his way into the national tem - and he will be looking to continue to flourish as the focal point of the attack this weekend.

With the likes of Young, Downing and Agbonlahor around him, Bent should not have to worry about creating his own chances. Instead, he will be looking to do what he does best - come alive in the penalty box and fire Villa to victory.

D. Hoilett

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The Canadian has been with Rovers books since he was 13-years-old and was by far their brightest spark amid a series of poor performances when they lost 3-1 to Villa in the FA Cup just over a month ago.

The winger only has one Premier League goal to his name, which was a thunderbolt of a strike coming in the 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion - their last league victory.

2011 has seen Hoilett emerge on the first-team scene, with the pace and trickery of the winger proving to be a nightmare for many a Premier League defender.

The 20-year old is confident on the ball and never stops trying to beat his man - often driving Blackburn forward on the counter-attack.

Editor's Prediction

Although Rovers are five places above Villa in the league, Villa have too much quality to drop points this weekend. Steve Kean has encouraged his side to play more expansive football than Rovers fans were used to under Sam Allardyce, but that could play into the hands of the home side - with the likes of Downing, Young, Agbonlahor and Bent being able to produce lightening quick counter-attacks.

Ryan Nelsen and Christopher Samba will need to be constantly aware when dealing with the poaching instincts of Darren Bent. And while Junior Hoilett could cause the Villa defence problems like he did when the two sides last met in January, Villa should be able to pick up the three points and leap above Blackburn in the congested league table.

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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

Blackburn Rovers


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR
Blackburn Rovers FC Blackburn Rovers

Top 3 Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
2 - 0
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR
Aston Villa FC AST
2 - 1
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 0
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR