SCOUT REPORT: BLACKBURN
Henning Berg's Rovers host the Championship leaders on Friday night.
After completing the perfect ten at home to Dave Jones’ Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, City will be looking to replicate their immaculate home form on the road.
Our opponents this Friday evening are Championship new boys Blackburn Rovers - fresh on the back of two Lancashire derbies. They only picked up one point from the two games after going down 2-1 at home to Bolton, and only managing a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor. Rovers were denied a victory at Burnley when Sam Vokes equalised one minute from time; Jordan Rhodeshad earlier added to his personal tally to give Blackburn the lead in the 68th minute.
Henning Berg’smen currently sit ninth in the Championship table with only four points separating them from the Play-Off places. But they are arguably underachieving by many people's standards this year, having been tipped to stroll the division back in August. Rovers’ form has been poor of late, picking up just one win in their last seven outings against bottom side Peterborough.
Blackburn’s home form has seen them win only half of their games so far at Ewood Park (with four draws and four defeats). This is in stark contrast to their away form where they have managed seven draws out of ten games and haev only lost once. If City manage to win on Friday night they will join Millwall, Wolves, Bolton and Middlesbrough in the list of teams who have left the former Premier League Champions' home with all three points.
Goals have certainly not been in abundance at Ewood Park so far this season. Out of the ten games there thus far, Blackburn have scored ten and conceded ten. There hasn’t been a game in which either team have scored more than two goals in a game.
Key Players: There was one signing that stood out for Blackburn in the summer transfer window, and that was the eight million pound acquisition of Jordan Rhodes.The twenty-two year old has shown so far that it may have been money well spent - scoring eleven times in seventeen league appearances.
Rovers are not short of striking talent either, as they also have seventy-five capped Portuguese international among their ranksNuno Gomes featured of late admittedly, but there are still the like ofhasn't. He has scored four goals in the twelve games he has played, with only seven of the games being starts. He Colin Kazim RichardsandRuben Rochinawho know where the goals are.
The Blackburn defence has looked pretty strong at times at Ewood Park this season due largely to an experienced back-line. Scott Dannhas played in the Premier League with Birmingham City and his pairing with former Bluebirdger JohnsonRoat the club was a formidable force. Now he has got the likes ofMartin Olsson, Adam HenleyandGael Givetalongside him and on paper it looks very strong indeed. Givet is another international in the Blackburn ranks, with fourteen caps for France.
. With forty-one caps for England and having played in the top flight for many years, he brings a vast amount of knowledge to Blackburn's game. The midfield also contains what many would regard as top-flight standard players; Paul RobinsonThere is experience right through the Rovers squad, perhaps embodied best by goalkeeper Morten Gamst Pedersen, Danny MurphyandDickson Etuhuhave all been seasoned campaigners at top level and could prove vital if Blackburn are t return to the Premier League on the first time of asking.
Previous Meetings:Blackburn have the slight upper hand when it comes to previous meetings between the two sides - the Lancashire Club have won twenty-four games compared to City's twenty-one with fifteen games drawn. The two sides have not met in a league fixture since 1985 in the old second division though and the last three meetings have been Cup games.
Last Meeting: Cardiff City 2–0 Blackburn Rovers (29/11/2011)
Cardiff City defeated Premier League Blackburn in the Quarter-Finals of the League Cup en route to Wembley last season.
Kenny Milleropened the scoring after nineteen minutes, whenAron Gunnarssonplaced a pass through the centre of a static Rovers defence for the Scot to slot home.Anthony Gerrardthen added a second in the second half to secure the win and ensure that Cardiff entered the draw for the competition's last four.
Cardiff City Line-up: Marshall, Quinn, Blake, Earnshaw, Mason.Subs not used:Heaton, McNaughton, Taylor, Gerrard, Turner, Kiss (McPhail), Whittingham Cowie, Conway (Ralls), Gunnarsson, Miller.
Blackburn Rovers Line-up: Robinson, Anderson, Henley, Vukcevic.Subs not used:Bunn, Givet, Dann, Hanley, Dunn, Formica, Pedersen, Petrovic (Rochina), Lowe, Blackman (Roberts), Goodwillie (Yakubu).