Thursday 23 November 2017

Blackburn Rovers

Will Blackburn regret settling for a draw with Manchester United as the two teams passed among themselves on Saturday afternoon?

Probably not. Of the five clubs in danger, Blackburn are the safest. They are the only ones who know that a point will virtually guarantee survival.

To be relegated, they require a defeat at Wolves plus a combination of the slightly unlikely and the wildly improbable -- Wigan to win at Stoke and Blackpool to overcome United. Given the affection Alex Ferguson felt for Steve Kean's deposed predecessor, Sam Allardyce, this might amuse the United manager -- although he never sends out a side to lose.

However controversial his appointment was and however indifferently they have performed since, Kean is taking Blackburn to Molineux in reasonable shape. After the United game, one that Blackburn probably deserved to win, he pointed out that six of their last eight fixtures have yielded "positive results".

However, five of those were draws, and their last away win came on December 28 at West Brom. Kean may be without centre-half Chris Samba, who excelled in the 1-1 draw at Upton Park earlier this month, and Junior Hoilett, who starred against United.

One of their greatest advantages in Sunday's melee is their goal difference, which, at minus 14, is smaller than any of their rivals. This is why only a defeat at Molineux, something Blackburn have experienced in only one of their last five visits to Wolverhampton, plus wins for Wigan and Blackpool, could relegate them. That's why they passed among themselves on Saturday. They knew it was almost certainly enough.

Score in reverse fixture: Won 3-0

Last victory v Wolves: 3-0, 2010


Away form: LLDLD

Top scorer: Nikola Kalinic, 5

Odds to go down: 11/1

Irish Independent

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