Match Preview: Blackburn Rovers v Sheffield United

Last updated : 02 February 2007 By @blades_mad1889

rovers v blades
The Rovers host Yorkshire outfit Sheffield United and try to overturn a 3-0 defeat to the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday night night.

It was a thrust rating night for the Blues who could have rode out a bigger aggregate win than what they did. In the end Jose Mourinho had to settle for a three-nil victory; Didier Drogba (6 minutes), Frank Lampard (67) and substitute Solamon Kalou (90) netting the goals.

Despite the result Rovers boss Mark Hughes was pleased with the performance and hope to take that into the game against the Blades and should see striker Jason Roberts return to training after being out with a broken metatarsal.

Meanwhile the Ewood faithful will be without star Midfielder Robbie Savage; the Welsh international broke his leg against Watfordat Vicarage Road and is expected to be out for at least five months.

Should he play then Australian Brett Emerton will play his 150th appearance in a blue and white shirt since he moved from Netherlands outfit Feyenoord.

Also injured are defender Andre Ooijer who is also out with a broken leg and Steven Reid (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). Both like Savage are expected to be out for at least five months.

Possible Rovers Live-Up: Brad Friedel, Stephen Warnock, Ryan Nelsen, Stephane Henchoz, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Brett Emerton, Kerimoglu Tugay, David Bentley, Matt Deryshire, Benni McCarthy, Paul Gallagher.

Sheffield United hope to continue their victory over Fulham on Tuesday night at Bramall Lane with at least a point in Lancashire. Jon Stead (23) and Michael Tonge (28) netting for the Blades whilst Rob Hulse struck the cross bar in the last minute.

The Blades expect to see club captain Chris Morgan return to the squad, the former Barnsley defender has been missing for the last four matches due to suspension.

Former Blackburn Rovers Winger Keith Gillespie will also be out due to suspension. The Northern Ireland international made 82 (+ 57 as a substitute) appearances whilst scoring 7 goals between December 1999 and July 2003.

Neil Warnock will be without substitute keeper Ian Bennett whom is still out with a fractured finger and will turn to Paul Gerrard should he require another goalkeeper on the bench.

Also out is defender Matthew Klgallon who has yet to start for the Blades since he completed a full transfer from Leeds United in January and Mikele Leigertwood (both ankle) who is close to resuming training.

Although unlikely, United could field another former Rovers star, Craig Short. The defender notched up 143 (+ 3) appearances and scored four goals between July 1999 and June 2006 until he was signed on a free transfer by the Blades.

Meanwhile a former Ewood player who will play against his old team is striker Jon Stead who got off the mark against Fulham. He played 33 (+ 11) games for the Lancastrian club, scoring eight in the process between February 2004 and June 2005.

Alan Wright who is currently on loan at Cardiff City played for Rovers between September 1990 and March 1995, during which time he played 83 (+ 8) games and scored just once. In all, between all four players they have notched up 341 (+ 79) appearances and scored just 20 goals.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Derek Geary, Chris Luckeeti, Chris Morgan, Chris Armstring, Stephen Quinn, Phil Jagielka, Nick Montgomery, Michael Tonge, Rob Hulse, Jonathan Stead.

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands) - Official Marriner started football life during the the 2002-03 season in non-league, particularly in the Nationwide Conference. His games involving the Blades are as follows:

  • 18 Dec 2004 - Blades 2-1 Cardiff City
  • 01 Apr 2006 - Stoke City 1-1 Blades
  • 16 Sep 2006 - Blades 1-2 Reading

Blades-Mad Prediction: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Sheffield United