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[Archived] Rovers 1 Everton 1

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With a new season only a few hours old it Rovers have already had a day that many supporters would want to forget. A three goal loss against a Portsmouth side looking to leave their poor form of last year well behind was a disappointing start to a season which had been met, at least by our own dour standards, optimistically. Neill’s sending off for two cautions, his seventh in his career, combined with Andy Todd’s single card dismissal causes vast problems for the management team- injuries are haunting Hughes at the moment. The defensive line-up that appeared at Fratton Park was already depleted but the loss of the Australian and our captain will reduce us to a very makeshift back line. Nelsen is making a quick recovery and may be available (although that seems unlikely), and the acquisition of Ooijer would be very timely if he arrived before Wednesday.

Incidentally Rovers will have already shot to the top of the foul play table, a competion we have championed the last two seasons, so perhaps the possibility of a points deduction should we win it again this season (as Phillipl has mentioned) should be investigated.

Creativity also seems at something of a premium with Tugay still to sit out a further two games after picking up a suspension at the end of the last campaign. Bentley has come in as understudy but still seems a good way off the class of the Turkish maestro. With Rovers at least appearing to eschewing the signing of a central midfielder this transfer window it must be fervently hoped by all Blackburn fans that the under 21 star will fulfil the promise that is at present all too fleeting. An early substitution resulting from an all-round poor performance on the South Coast could mean he loses his place in the side, although armchair pundits are forced to wonder who would come in to fill his berth.

Sanity preserving positivism dictates that all this misery should be put behind us however, and Wednesday sees Rovers have an ideal opportunity to do just that. Blackburn on Everton in their second game of the season at Ewood park which was last season something of a fortress. The lads claimed 13 victories and 3 draws out of 19 matches including two outstanding results against Chelsea and Manchester Utd, so hopes for victory should not be presumed entirely outlandish.

One of the great plus points of the summer break was the double signing of McCarthy and Roberts, two different types of striker who built up a complimentary partnership of power and skill over the pre season. Neither really got into the game on Saturday, but all eyes will be on the new additions to create some gilt edged opportunities.

Everton for their part have sparsely strengthened in the last few months, but those who they have brought in possess quality. The high profile signing of Andy Johnson (someone who will be looking to create a prolific partnership with fellow England international and former rover James Beattie) was followed by Tim Howard and the great defensive prospect Joleon Lescott. The Toffees have yoyoed up and down the table in recent years, finishing an astonishing fourth in 2004 and then dropping to an underwhelming 11th. On the weekend they managed a decent if fortuitous (apparently a penalty that never should have been) 2-1 victory over newly promoted Watford.

Andy Van Der Meyder was left out of the side due to drinking shenanigans and that should carry over to Wednesday.

For my money their biggest threats lie in the two strikers and the guile of Arteta, a player who scored an absolute cracker at Ewood Park last term.

My tip for our line-up, likely to be wildly incorrect:

--------------Roberts McCarthy

Pedersen Savage Reid Gallagher

----Gray Moko Nelsen Ooijer? (please god!)


Subs: Brown, Matteo, Bentley, Kuqi, Emerton

I reckon for the score: 1-1

Questionnaire has been sent out, yet to receive the old reply.

Good luck Rovers! God help us…

Edited by joey_big_nose
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If we have no Nelsen and no Zurab and have to rely on Jay and Matteo i can see nothing but a 2-0 defeat with Beattie and Arteta scoring. But with Zurab and Nelsen i can see a 1-1 draw with Gamst scoring for us and Johnson for the Toffies.

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Nice preview. The problem I have this season is that in previous years I have always been of the belief that if I predict a victory then we lose, but I wan't to do well in the prediction league!

I'll go for a 2-0 victory like I did for the Pompey game, hopefully the boys will actually turn up this time.

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Official site says 8pm kick off - our normal time I thought.

BT, Johnson and Arteta will be rubbing their hands with anticipation - 2-1 to Everton, BT x2 and a reply from Benni.

Then Chelsea roll into Ewood - gulp.

Edited by Quack
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Aye the weather,prices and the performance on Saturday won't exactly have Blackburnians cancelling their usual Wednesday sojourn to the Derby and Joan for Free 'n' Easy night for the visit of the Toffees. The only positive is that Evertons jammy win on Saturday may encourage of few extra Mickies to turn up.

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