Blackburn Rovers - Aston Villa

Rovers are in a winless run of eleven competitive games. Unofficially, Sam Allardyce got two more games to improve the things. First of them comes tonight against Villa and progress to Wembley could erase all the errors. First problem is Big Sam almost lost all support from the fans and players as well. His 4-5-1 formation, even at home, hasn’t brought too much good. Fans think team shouldn’t look such defensive at home, while even players don’t seem too much interested to change something. In my opinion there’s much bigger chance to Allardyce face the exit door after few more failures than to improve anything. Next obstacle for improvement is injury list that consist some very important players. Midfielder Grella and forward Roberts are ruled out, while striker Benni McCarthy and defender Givet remain doubtful. Also, key striker El-Hadji Diouf is absent through the suspension. This will be the second game this week, while third at Sunday when they’ll host Fulham is probably most imported. On all of this should be added bad mutual score against Villa, Rovers won just once in last eight games (draw also once and lost other six).


Aston Villa is in much better position than tonight’s opponent. They bounced back after two consecutive defeats in Premier (Arsenal away 0-3 and Liverpool at home 0-1) with a win against Blackburn in FA Cup (3-1 at Villa Park). That win should also bring some psychological advantage for tonight’s clash. Despite it is a Carling Cup, progress will bring a ticket to Wembley and unique chance for winning some trophy. In Premier League Villa look secure. With M.City, Tottenham and maybe even Liverpool, Champions League will remain just as dream. But, place for Uefa League is reachable, looks not so hard to achieve and they have a space to focus on this competition. This should mean the best team at Ewood tonight as O’Neill has confirmed. James Milner and Luke Young are both expected to recover from injury and both are set to be named in the squad. Only concern is defender Curtis Davies who remains on the sidelines due a lack of match fitness after recovering from a dislocated shoulder. Goalie Brad Guzan likely to continue his run of cup appearances in place of regular number one Brad Friedel.


Tonight, much more will depend from Villa than from Blackburn. Final at Wembley will surely be the guarantor for Rovers’ full motivation and effort. Problem for them is this also applies to the lads on the other side of the pitch. In my opinion visitors are favorites here, but the fact re-match will be played at their own ground makes from a scoring draw decent result. Considering all that I wrote, see dnb as a very good option for this game. Clear away win, however, remains as a gamble (2.47 at Pinnacle).


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