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[Archived] reviews for boro' games.


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As soon as we beat Charlton in the League Cup, I just knew it would happen… no not that we’d lose to Everton, but we would draw Middlesbrough in the League Cup away. Within the space of five days Blackburn Rovers will have to play a top Uefa Cup side twice and both away from Ewood Park.

Cup Game

Middlesbrough are a proven cup outfit and are a very dangerous side when playing a in a knockout format, just take one look at some of their cup runs in the last two/three years. They have performed very well this season in the Uefa cup against some fairly good opposition like AZ Alkmaar & Grasshoppers and to be fair, our lot wouldn’t be able to keep up with some of those teams. We also must remember that Boro’ only won this competition only two seasons ago beating Notlob….I mean Bolton. But focussing on Rovers, our cup form isn’t anything to be ashamed of either; we have a good history in recent years in this competition and in domestic cups in general. After the heroic performance by the lads against Charlton, you can guarantee that Sparky has the dressing room ready for this game. I sense that this competition is our only hope of some glory this season but at the same time the Boro’ fans feel the same way about their team.

So far in the league cup this season we have been a free-scoring outfit who looks like they could score against any side thrown at us, so far we have scored nine goals in three games in this competition but our downfall is that we have conceded goals, yes I know we kept a clean sheet against Leeds but they had nothing that night, they turned up and tried to park the team coach in front of their keepers goal. Whereas Boro’ look to have a solid defence with Southgate seeming to back to the standard of when he was an international again.

It should be good game tomorrow night as both teams have a solid pedigree of late in cup competitions; it will certainly be a better game then the league one come Boxing Day.

Prediction

Boro’ 2

Rovers' 3

League Game

This game will be a difficult game for the lads, since Boro’ moved to the Riverside we have struggled to beat them. But if you take our form away from home into account, there is only ever going to be one winner, and it certainly isn’t the team in blue & white. So far this season we have conceded fifteen. Yes fifteen goals away from home. Our defence isn’t up to the standard that Sparky instilled in his players last season. We are leaking goals left, right and centre and I mean that literally. Mark Hughes said last season that the only reason for our poor defence was that our players were unfit and out of shape, so what’s the answer to why our defence is poor now? Our defensive is depleted and stagnant, that is the answer, we have Nelsen sitting on the sidelines, we have Matteo on the physio’s table and an Andy Todd reminiscent of the Todd we all hated three years ago. Zurab has looked like a man who has problems mentally, his mind is in other places if you judge his last few performances. Our only defensive saviour so far has to Lucas Neill, he looks like a man possessed, he has one thing on his mind and that’s playing a blinder week in week out at the moment and who cares if eh ahs to be dirty to get the job done, I certainly don’t.

On the flipside though, Middlesbrough are not exactly the worlds most consistent outfit in the Premiership, they destroy Manchester United at home, but lose to a very sorry outfit in the form of Sunderland. They form in the league leaves a lot to be desired for Middlesbrough fans. Just like us their strikers are not firing on all cylinders. It’s not that the Boro’ strikers find it hard to score goals, just look at Yakubu he’s scored ten goals in the league this season and has looked a threat to any defence he has come up against. Yakubu will be a danger to Todd & Zurab come Boxing Day, he has pace, skill and a footballing brain that many a striker in the lower half of the Premiership would love to possess.

Boro’ pride themselves on the fact that they have young, local lads playing for them and for that I would applaud them but are they going to be good enough or man enough to step up-to the plate against our more physical players such as the Axe-man, Neill, Savage and Todd, I just cannot see it happening.

If form was to be taken into account for this game, Rovers would be the favourites to beat Boro’, but as we all know the form book counts for nothing. If the league table was to be taken into account, we would be favourites to win this game but quite simply without Nelsen & Bellamy, Rovers as a side look like they could concede many and not score at the other end. Its not that we aren’t creating chances, we just are not putting them away. The exact same can be said for Boro’ they are creating tons of chances; they just are not scoring them, well except for Yakubu.

This game has all the making of a good game but at the same time it could be a nightmare to watch. Both sides have the capability to play expensive football and be free-scoring, but both sides are very inconsistent in the league and it could end up being a scrappy draw. As a Blackburn fan, I am hoping for an expansive performance from the lads but as our away form leaves a lot to be desired, I’ll settle for a scrappy win.

Form(Last Six League Matches)

Boro’-DLLDWL

Rovers'-LWLLDW

Players to watch out for

Boro’

Yakubu- On form, will be looking to add to his tally for the season at the weekend

Boateng- He will play a vital part in the midfield battle, Savage will need to make sure he brings his A-game this weekend; both players like a tackle.

Hasselbank- Struggled for goals so far this season but will be looking to end his baron patch against us.

Rovers'’

MGP- Has been away with the cuckoo’s for the last few weeks, so he must be due a good performance or he might just face being dropped for Sergio.

Dickov- Has looked lively and as we all know, he never gives the opposition a single second without him giving them some grief.

Some Questions That I Asked a Boro’ Friend of Mine?

Q) Who has been your most dangerous player this season baring Yakubu?

A)To be brutally honest, this season we haven’t had any player step up to the plate and look to provide us with a threat in the league, in the Uefa cup we have looked dangerous as a collective unit.

Q)That brings me nicely to my next question, why has your sides Uefa Cup form been so much better then your league form?

A) In the Uefa Cup, the boys seem to want it more, the bigger name players like Mendieta and Hasselbank look like they are full of life and loving playing for the club, they revel in the big stage. But when Saturday comes, they do not seem as interested and its up to big Steve to make sure they are which he isn’t doing at the moment.

Q)Where will Boro’ finish at the end of the season?

A) If our league form continues to be as erratic as it is now, I would say about 10th to 13th. But should be lose to Stuttgart in the next round of the Uefa Cup, I could see us finishing in the top six for sure. The Uefa Cup has been great for us fans…well the ones who actually turn up to the Uefa Cup games but it has been a distraction to our league games. We’ve had a lot of Sunday games this season, so if we were to be knocked out of the cup, I can see us in the top six.

Q)What’s your prediction for the League and Cup games?

A)I think your boys will beat us in the league, probably about two-nil but before that we’ll hammer Rovers' 4-0 in the cup. We are a superior cup team. Our team is built for knock-out cup football.

Stats

Biggest Win This Season

Boro’ 4-1 versus Manchester United

Rovers'-4-1 versus Charlton Athletic

Biggest Defeat This Season

Boro’ 3-0 versus Charlton Athletic

Rovers’ 3-0 versus Arsenal/Newcastle United

Top Scorers

Boro’- Yakubu-10

Rovers'- Craig Bellamy/Paul Dickov/Morten Gamst Pedersen-4

Goals Scored

Boro’-23 scored

Rovers'-24 scored

Goals Conceded

Boro’-26 conceded

Rovers'-24 conceded

The vast majority of these stats point out to me that we, on paper are a better side then Boro’ with goal scoring being spread about the side in our case but as I have previously mentioned form won’t count for a thing in the cup match and these stats won’t mean a thing when the two sides meet on Monday afternoon.

Prediction

Boro' 1

Rovers' 2

Come on you Rovers!!!!!!!

ps. This was my first attempt at a match preview so I hope you guys like it.

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Cup Game

Boro's firepower in-depth does worry me. This is actually a massive game for us. Throughout this competition we have put out our strongest team. Hughes comments today shows he wants it badly.

Would like to see Thompson start and (if he is fit) it would be nice to have Bellamy on the bench at least.

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Injuries, suspensions, Christmas spirit...

Another good preview or previews.

These two are in the any result possible category. Who are our penalty takers? We'll need them as I cannot see an obvious winner between the likely two starting XIs tomorrow night unless both Bellamy and Nelsen are on a miracle cure.

Think Boro will shade the League game with a big crowd behind them and Neill suspended.

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With typical pessimism I don't expect us to win either game but if the Boro fan's predictions are correct (4-0 and 0-2) I'll settle for that except the other way around; i.e. us to win 2-0 tomorrow night and take the usual Boxing Day drubbing 4-0.

Let's go all out for the cup!

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BORO v BLACKBURN ROVERS BLAST FROM THE PAST

Interesting article from a Boro site (link above) reminiscing on games of the past. If I am correct I think we have played Middlesbrough as much as we have any other team, other than maybe Villa and Sheffield United. We have certainly seemed to spend most seasons in the same division with them and had a fair few cup games.

I'd happily take the win in the cup over the league game. We would close to (once again) travelling to Cardiff again.

Edited by FourLaneBlue
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I am not too optimistic about either game - Cup game, Boro to win in extra time; Boxing Day a better game from Rovers if Bellamy / Nelesen are available, an honorable draw but still only 1 away day win so far.

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you`d expect a win from one of these

i dont think we`ll win any

our form is dire at the moment, we might be marginally being the better team, but in goals scored we arent the better, its a problem. 2 wins away in our last 15, no good

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you`d expect a win from one of these

i dont think we`ll win any

our form is dire at the moment, we might be marginally being the better team, but in goals scored we arent the better, its a problem. 2 wins away in our last 15, no good

368087[/snapback]

Totally off subject slater scott but was it you in the LET the other night who got banjoed in the kebab house?

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Totally off subject slater scott but was it you in the LET the other night who got banjoed in the kebab house?

368092[/snapback]

no

but i did have a good laugh at that article, i had my gran ringing me up to see if i was hurt badly laugh.gif

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I'd rather that we won the league game than the cup game to be honest. I don't see us winning both games and it will be very difficult to win one of them. Our defence is looking dodgy and without Bellamy up front, there is no invention in the team. We'll lose to night and hopefully win the league game.

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Looking forwarde to both games they are as equally as important. Another good cup run and a trip to Cardiff could be our way into Europe again, however a decent league win will do us the world if good.

Not going to make any predictions until the beer has the better of me, then its off to the bookies.

Setting off soon to Boro...

Come on Rovers...........

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Cup game, could be tight, will be lucky to win it in penalties, with probably getting Man U in the semi's.

League, depends on whether or not Bellamy / Nelsen are back for the league game, hoping for a draw at least.

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im well looking forward to both games. only 3 games away from cardiff and i am well excited on the thought of going to another final!!

i think we will win both, after beating charlton in the fashion we did theres no stopping us tonight. hughsey will have them fired up for this one!!!

i hope m.g.p is fit but if the rumours about his leg injury are true then i think emerton and thomo will be on the flanks and may switch during the game and reid and peter on the bench for cover.

could high scoring again the amounts of goals both teams have conceded and scored though its just better in our favour so hopefully that will win it for us.

As for the league game, i think providing we win the cup game, everybody has a well fun xmas, the spirit in the camp will be good and with the edge of beating them only a few days before, will be the difference and we will take the 3 points and ruin mclaren and boro's xmas!! rover.gif

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sqauds for the match.

Middlesbrough (from): Schwarzer, Jones, Bates, Queudrue, Pogatetz, Southgate, Riggott, Ehiogu, Wheater, Boateng, Doriva, Morrison, Rochemback, Johnson, Kennedy, Yakubu, Hasselbaink, Viduka, Maccarone.

Blackburn (from): Friedel, Enckelman, Neill, Gray, Todd, Emerton, Thompson, Reid, Savage, Pedersen, Kuqi, Dickov, Bellamy, Nelsen, Mokoena, Khizanishvili, Tugay, Bentley.

still no jansen?? mad.gif

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Blackburn (from): Friedel, Enckelman, Neill, Gray, Todd, Emerton, Thompson, Reid, Savage, Pedersen, Kuqi, Dickov, Bellamy, Nelsen, Mokoena, Khizanishvili, Tugay, Bentley.

still no jansen?? mad.gif

368167[/snapback]

Or get the squad from the official site and get

Rovers to select from: Friedel, Neill, Khizanishvili, Todd, Gray, Emerton, Tugay, Savage, Pedersen, Bentley, Dickov, Enckelman, Kuqi, Mokoena, Thompson, Reid, Bellamy, Nelsen, Matteo, Jansen, Taylor, Peter.

http://www.rovers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/New...~757912,00.html

Fancy beleiving the ultra un-reliable BBC for the squad.

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sqauds for the match.

Middlesbrough (from): Schwarzer, Jones, Bates, Queudrue, Pogatetz, Southgate, Riggott, Ehiogu, Wheater, Boateng, Doriva, Morrison, Rochemback, Johnson, Kennedy, Yakubu, Hasselbaink, Viduka, Maccarone.

Blackburn (from): Friedel, Enckelman, Neill, Gray, Todd, Emerton, Thompson, Reid, Savage, Pedersen, Kuqi, Dickov, Bellamy, Nelsen, Mokoena, Khizanishvili, Tugay, Bentley.

still no jansen?? mad.gif

368167[/snapback]

Why would you give a f*** if Jansen was in that squad or not when our two best players are after injury!

That's great news!!

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