Liverpool vs Blackburn Rovers
26 December 2011
Total Appearances: 139
Liverpool Wins: 60
Blackburn Wins: 38
Last Premier League Meeting: 5 January 2011 – Blackburn 3-1 Liverpool (Gerrard)
Liverpool: The Reds’ season has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster, with the club struggling to find any sort of consistency. Last weekend, Liverpool were held to a disappointing draw at Wigan. The weekend before that saw a victory at Aston Villa, but again, the gameweek before, Liverpool only just managed to defeat QPR. Liverpool need wins as they are quickly falling behind in the title race. They are in sixth, but a win could see them rise to fourth.
Blackburn: The Rovers have lost the last three, and five of the last six. They have taken just 10 points from their 17 games, and lie dead last in the league. This could be the final straw for manager Steve Kean; the fans have been calling out for the owners to fire him, and if Blackburn fail to at least get a point off Liverpool, you can’t help but feel he will be dismissed.
Liverpool: Few teams in the Premier League have managed to avoid the injury bug as well as Liverpool have so far in the young season. Lucas remains out with his longterm knee injury, and Steven Gerrard, despite returning to training this week, is likely to be out of action. Jay Spearing returns from his suspension, while Suarez’s doesn’t start until the appeal process is completed.
Blackburn: Unlike Liverpool, Blackburn have been hit hard by injuries this season. Defenders Scott Dann, Martin Olsson, and Michel Salgado as well as midfielder Vince Grella are all out indefinitely with injuries, while defenders Gael Givet and Ryan Nelsen will be out until the new year. Former goalkeeper Paul Robinson is set to return to action after a calf injury.
Martin Skrtel vs Yakubu: Nigerian striker Yakubu has been one of the few bright spots for Blackburn this season after joining from Everton in the summer. He has scored 10 goals in 12 Premier League matches so far, almost half of the club’s total goals. If Liverpool, more specifically Martin Skrtel, are able to shut him down, Blackburn’s offensive threat will be limited.
Glen Johnson vs Junior Hoilett: Canadian left-winger Junior Hoilett is one of the brightest young talents in the Premier League, and he has put all his skills on display this season. The 21-year-old has been chased by several of England’s top clubs, including Liverpool. Glen Johnson and Hoilett will go head-to-head down the flank; the winner could have a major effect on this game.
Stewart Downing vs Jason Lowe: Because of all of the injured defenders at Ewood Park, Kean has had to scramble to just field a full backline. At right-back, he has been forced to use 20-year-old midfielder Jason Lowe. Stewart Downing has struggled to hit top form this season, but this, taking nothing away from Lowe who is a bright young talent, is his chance to really break out and shine.
Home Win: 1/4
Away Win: 12/1
Anfield Red Score Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Blackburn Rovers
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