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Blackburn Rovers

Wolves Preview, Ewood Park 12th September

Right then boys and girls its back to back home games at Ewood after a week off for World Cup qualifiers and as far as I can see meaningless friendlies. Let’s just hope that those involved for their respective countries returns to Lancashire unscathed and we have a fully fit squad to pick from. A bonus to not having a game last weekend means that players such as Dunny, Bert and Steven Reid have another seven days to work on their fitness.

If ever a club needed a performance and a result this weekend, then we need one against the Wanderers of Wolverhampton this weekend. You may think that I’m overreacting here and yes, we may only be three games into the season, but with tricky fixtures in September, home against free spending Aston Villa and the return of Big bad Brad and Stevie W and also away at Everton, who have wisely re-invested some of the cash they got for captain Klingon, then we need to pick up three points against the Wolves. If you also think ahead to our nightmare October with games away from home against the Gooners, Renters and ManUre and a home game against…… Well I forget for the moment, but I’m sure it will come to me, then victory is a must.

It, like me, you thought that West Ham were for the taking and we should have gone with two up top, then surely we can’t expect a repeat performance with just having one up front. Not too sure why Benni was missing against WHAM, but if he’s fit then I’d like to see him and preferably Kalinic up front. Assuming we have a full and injury free squad to choose from then I’d go with the following

GK Robbo
RB Jacobsen
CB Samba
CB William Shakespeare

Gael GivetWilliam Shakespeare
Gael- get out you’re bard!!

LB Chimbonda
LM Pedersen
CM Dunn
CM N’Zonzi
RM Bert
CF Benni
CF Kalinic

Not too sure who’ll make it onto the bench, but with seven places up for grabs Sam can pretty much keep his options open. If it was up to me and my time machine was fully functional, then I’d go for

Chris Sulley
Simon Barker
Mark Grew (gk)
John Millar
Ian Miller
Alan Irvine
Shearer (Duncan)

Wow- that doesn’t leave any room on the bench for Keith Andrews- who on closer inspection looks very much like one of the snap crackle and pop characters off a rice Krispie box. Also, he’s one of the few people who I can name off the top of my head who has played for both clubs, along with (according to my old man) Derek Doogan, Super Atko and Mr Ince who played for Wolves and cleaned the toilets at our place from June until December last year.

Despite being a fellow founder member of the football league way back when, our paths haven’t crossed too much over the past few seasons and they’ve started off this season with four points from as many games. They walked the championship last season, but don’t appear to have splashed the cash over the summer half as much as Birmingham. With my limited knowledge in toe, I jumped on a Wolves message board, wanting to find out a little more about the team, thoughts on the game and if they were happy with their four point haul from their four games against West Ham, Wigan, Birmingham and Hull. Unfortunately, the internet must have only just landed in the Black Country as it took a week to get some answers back off them, and they were half hearted responses at best. They must still be smarting from that 5-1 hammering we dished out to them at the beginning of the 2003-04 season.

1. Do you think you’re better equipped for the Premiership this time around?

Hopefully yes, we weren’t at all prepared for our last shot at it and I think we’ve got a better squad this time around to make a decent fist of it.

2. Four points from four games- pleased with your start? Or expecting more against some of the ‘smaller’ premiership teams?

Reasonable, but should have beaten Hull, all over them like a rash and they may come back to haunt us.

3. Hopes for the season?

Better than 18th will do for starters.

4. Is Mick McCarthy the man for the job?

Yes with appropriate funding.

5. Will the board back him in January if things aren’t going to plan or will they look elsewhere?

Yes unless we have a ridiculous number of points.

6. What’s going to happen to Michael Mancienne now that Chelski have been banned from making any signings- will they want him back.

Chelsea will want Mancienne back. We have him to January, and I don’t know what the terms of the contract are after that, but if FIFA really want to punish Chelsea, then they will ensure the loan status does not favour them. Expect at least part of the sentence to be reduced though.

7. Player to watch?

All of them….Seriously…In terms of skill and the fact that he will at some stage score a corker Milijas, for work rate Keogh, and most likely to help you out, Craddock.

8. Blackburn player you’re most worried about?

Anyone who gets a shot on goal.

9. With WBA out of the equation this season, which team would you most like to beat?

Villa and Blues of course

10. Favourite curry?

Any, a toss up between Chicken Pathia, Jalfrezi or Dupiaza

11. Famous Wolves fans

Robert Plant and Suzi Perry- not a patch on Jim Bowen and that chap out of Brookside then!

12. Prediction for the match?

1-1

As I said, not the most enlightening of responses, so perhaps they’re all worried that they’ll get battered- although they’ve sold out their allocation of 3,000 tickets so I expect a decent atmosphere. We haven’t played each other much over the past ten years or so, but when we have this is what has happened. I also remember a game at Ewood in our promotion season of 92′ when we were going through that dodgy patch of losing six games on the spin following Mike Newell’s broken leg. I think we were drawing one each which would have got us back on track when Matt Dickens somehow let a last minute shot from Paul Birch somehow slip between his fingers and end up in the back of the net. Safe to say, we went onto lose the match and Mr Dickens never played for us again.

03/01/2000

Blackburn 1 Wolves 1
Ostenstaad Naylor

08/04/2000

Wolves 2 Blackburn 1
Muscat Duff
Neilsen

18/11/2000

Blackburn 1 Wolves 0
Dunn pen

21/04/2001

Wolves 0 Blackburn 0

16/08/2003

Blackburn 5 Wolves 1
Amoruso Iversen
Thompson
Emerton
Cole (2)

07/01/2004

Wolves 2 Blackburn 2
Butler Cole
Rae Yorke

Out of the team that beat them 5-1 on the opening day some six years ago, only Brett Emerton is still at the club, with all our other goalscorers that day now long retired. Also the 125th anniversary game at Ewood in November 2000 saw the debut of Mr Friedel.

Right, so that’s it- lets get behind the lads on Saturday and cheer them to a much needed three points. Hopefully Suzi Perry will take me up on my offer of a curry and an evening of Ashes cricket on the Wii. Robert Plant can you hear me- your boys took one hell of a beating -hopefully. As a certain Alan Partridge might say- “Jurrasic Park”

Thanks to Saltysellars who kindly let me reproduce his preview for the Wolverhampton Wanderers game at Ewood this Saturday.

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