A Pocket Guide to Beating Blackburn
We’re opening the show this weekend. No time for nerves or last minute dress-rehearsals; we’ve drawn the lunchtime shift. Blackburn Rovers. All told, a bleak proposition for such an hour. But at least we can take solace in the news that the fixture isn’t reliant on a grim expedition up north- as was the case in December- where the chances of losing a body in the snow are worryingly high. We’re at home. And the comforts of such should give us plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Sam Allardyce has been in mischievous mood this week. Playground stuff, really. After some not altogether subtle comments about his outfit’s caustic methods, Papa Benitez has felt Big Sam’s icy hand of rejection. ‘I just don’t like him,’ he told us, while administering a head-lock to one of the boys in upper sixth. Benitez is said to be devastated.
Blackburn are a volatile bunch. Allardyce has fashioned them into a mould of his own image. Not always pretty to look at- rarely, in fact- but effective all the same. A Bolton 2.0. As such, they’ve had a relatively productive season; by no means lighting up the sky with fireworks, more holding a torch into the clouds and waving it around a bit. A stalemate with Liverpool and beating the likes of Fulham and Villa are not feats to be taken lightly. Suffice to say, we’ve come unstuck against flimsier opposition this season. At home, too.
Beware the Ides of March, then.
The body count in the medic’s tent is still a concern for us. Woodgate’s been ruled out for the season while he undergoes yet more treatment for his irksome groin; Lennon and his understudy, Bentley, are still MIA and King, Jenas and Huddlestone all look set to miss out. Put those in order of importance at your own leisure.
But Kaboul is available.
So we should be just fine.
2-0 for me. Pav and, let’s say, Dawson.
Place your bets, folks.