Preview

In a matter of a few days Chris Powell orchestrated Town's first win at home for nearly seven months and Town's first back to back victories in the league since the start of December last year.

Optimism has definitely replaced the negative aura that surrounded the side last week as Town clawed their way up the table and away from the relegation zone.

Whilst Town are chasing their third win on the bounce, Blackburn are aiming for some consistency after picking up a win, draw and loss in the last three games.

However the Lancashire club currently have an injury crisis as they could be without up to eight players including top scorer Rudy Gestede.

Likely Line-up

Chris Powell took the bold yet necessary decision to drop Nahki Wells for the midweek clash against Wolves and it would take another bold decision to change a side that won emphatically at Molineux.

Jonathan Hogg may be a doubt after coming off injured against Wolves and club captain Lee Peltier may not make the squad due to the knock which brought him off against Millwall.

So will Powell stick with the same side that beat Wolves or will he accomadate Wells? My guess is unchanged.

Prediction

Blackburn 1 - 1 Town

The likelihood of Town keeping a clean sheet is rare enough, yet with our old starlet Jordan Rhodes playing against us it will be a nigh on impossibility. So if you are a betting man put some money on him to score anytime like he always seems to do.

Our record at Ewood Park isn't the best either, yet Blackburn's defeat against Rotherham shows obvious vulnerabilities. Town won't have a better chance to win three games on the bounce all season either with the list of absentees for Rovers.

Know Your Enemy

If you didn't know already, throughout this season, Thrice Champions will be getting the views of opposition fans, bloggers and podcasters so you know the story behind the club they know so much about.

Ahead of tomorrows clash over the pennines at Blackburn, we spoke to Rovers blogger Mike Delap to get the low down on the opposition.

Here's what he had to say to our questions...

TC: After the disappointment of the last two seasons, what are Blackburn's hopes for this term?

MD: Well the initial thought would be promotion. With the club still hemorrhaging money at an alarming rate having paid the price for relegation in 2011 and spending large unsustainable sums of money on over the hill rubbish following that demotion, we're in need of the cash windfall that only comes with a spell in the top tier.

At the moment we're relying on the grace and "goodwill" of Venky's - which sounds about as fun and as reassuring as it reads.

So yep promotion, that's the hope.

TC: How much better is it now with stability under Gary Bowyer?

MD: Yes it is much better. The jury is still out on Gary, who is a lovely bloke with the best interests of the club at heart, having the skills and the bottle on him to take us up a division but you'd have to be cruel and/or blind to deny that he's done an excellent job to date taking a very shabby looking ship, crewed in the past by blood sucking leeches and inept morons, and turned it around into the half-decent looking vessel it appears today.

Gone are the under performing rabble of Danny Murphy, Dickson Etuhu, David Goowillie and  a whole host of Portuguese nobodies who used to pass for Rovers players, in have come a much more suitable and likeable bunch of characters who make a decent side in the Championship. Done on a shoestring budget whilst under the pressure of heavy cost cutting. 

He's done well so far, make no mistake.

The Blackburn Rovers of 2014 is certainly a calmer and more settled environment than it used to be, if anything you could accuse the management of being a little dull at the moment - but if can find me a single Rovers supporting human being who wouldn't take that over the all singing, all dancing omnishambles of the eras of Steve Kean and Shebby Singh then I'd be very impressed.

TC: In terms of finances,how are Blackburn coping - especially now there is no more parachute payments?

MD: We're coping in the sense that we have owners who are willing to stump up large debts and heavy losses, but the future doesn't exactly look like a bed of roses in our current state.

The next few years for the club could be very telling, if we don't gain promotion soon we'll be looking at a major cost cutting.


TC: Is this squad, with the summer's additions, able to compete consistently to reach the top six.?

MD: On the current evidence of the first handful of game sadly it's a no.

The playing personnel look handy enough enough on paper, and at times (against Wigan and Bournemouth in particular) we've seen some potential that if harnessed correctly would see us up near the top. But it's been a fleeting dalliance with excellence so far - our main area of weakness has been in defence, which has been all over the places at times.

Our overall problem however has been that we are only consistent in our inconsistency. Unable to string together two convincing wins but at the same time being able to keep our head above water by showing signs of the promise that a front line of Rudy Gestede, Jordan Rhodes and the gang should be able to produce.

It's in there somewhere, we just haven't been able to charm it out of the basket yet.

TC: Jordan Rhodes, why hasn't he left yet?

Simply because we've not received an offer for his services that meets the owners approval.

I think it's fairly common knowledge that Jordan would like to move the Premier League and if the chance to move up a gear presents itself I doubt he'd turn it down in favour of staying at Rovers, but the player has always stated he's happy to remain at Rovers for as long as he's needed - he's on very, very good money for a Championship player and he's clearly quite happy where he is.

I am sure, no doubt, that you've heard similar soundbites from exactly the same player in the past. But I don't doubt Rhodes' commitment to our cause - he handled Hull's apparent summer transfer window interest like a consummate professional.


TC: Which Blackburn player should Huddersfield fans worry about?

MD: Well, the aforementioned Rhodes would be a pretty easy shout to make so I won't bore you with that, and I don't think you'll have to handle the robust aerial threat of Rudy Gestede due to injury, so I'll go with winger Ben Marshall who has started the season in very good form and plundered a few superb goals along the way.

He's a bit of a mixed bag but when on his game he's productive, hard working, strong and creative. So yes, keep your eye out for him - or don't if you wouldn't mind!


TC: Which Huddersfield player do you think Blackburn fans should worry about?

MD: I've always liked Nahki Wells for as long as I've been aware of his exploits. He was good in odd game I saw him in for Bradford and he seems to have taken to the Championship well enough. He scored against us a the "Whatever Your Stadium Is Called This Year" Stadium last season and suspect he'll put in a good shift this season too.

So yeah, him.

TC: What is your prediction for Saturday?

MD: I hope we can get back on track after a dismal midweek performance against Rotherham so I'll rather hopefully go with a narrow 2-1 home win.


Blackburn Rovers blogger Mike Delap was speaking with Thrice Champions' Greg Marah.

Don't forget you can still vote for Thrice Champions in the Football Blog Awards. For more information CLICK HERE

 

 

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