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[Archived] Match Preview: Manchester United (october 4, Ewood Park, 17:30)


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Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United

Saturday, October 3, 2008, Ewood Park, 17:30 kick-off

Match Preview

This weekend Blackburn play hosts to Manchester United at Ewood Park. Rovers go into this weekend’s fixture in 7th place with 10 points while Manchester United is in 11th place with 8 points. Rovers have done quite well against United in recent seasons with possible the most notable game a 4-3 victory at Ewood Park in 2006 which saw David Bentley record a hat-trick.

After a couple of rough games against West Ham and Arsenal, Rovers seem to be finding their form and go into the match with two straight victories. United will be looking to capture their first back-to-back wins of the season after beating Bolton on Saturday.

For Rovers, Dunn and Robinson will miss the match with injuries while Grella and McCarthy unlikely to figure in the match. United have only Carrick and Foster out with injuries.



2008/09 Results


Week 1 EVE 2 – BLA 3

Week 2 BLA 1 – HULL 1

Week 3 WST 4 – BLA 1

Week 4 BLA 0 – ARS 4

Week 5 BLA 1 – FUL 0

Week 6 NEW 1 – BLA 2


Week 1 UTD 1 – 1 NEW

Week 2 POR 0 – 1 UTD

Week 3 no fixture

Week 4 LIV 2 -1 UTD

Week 5 CHE 1 – 1 UTD

Week 6 UTD 2 – 0 BOL

2008/09 Statistics

Goals (League)

Blackburn: Santa Cruz (2), Roberts (2), Derbyshire (1), Ooijer (1), Dunn (1), Samba (1)

Manchester United: Fletcher (2), Rooney (1), Park (1), Tevez (1), Ronaldo (1)

Yellow Cards (League)

Blackburn: Emerton (3), Warnock (3), Nelsen (2), Ooijer (2), Roberts (2), Andrews (1), Grella (1)

Manchester United: Brown (2), Rooney (2), 10 players with (1)

All Time Head-to-Head Results (source: soccerbase.com)

(Blackburn wins / Draws / United wins)

League 27 / 23 / 40

FA Cup 4 / 2 / 2

League Cup 0 / 2 / 2

Other 0 / 0 / 1

Total 31 / 27 / 45

Recent Matches


April 19, 2008 Blackburn 1 – 1 Manchester

November 11, 2007 Manchester 2 – 0 Blackburn


March 31, 2007 Manchester 4 – 1 Blackburn

November 11, 2006 Blackburn 0 – 1 Manchester


February 1, 2006 Blackburn 4 – 3 Manchester

January 25, 2006 Manchester 2 – 1 Blackburn LEAGUE CUP

January 11, 2006 Blackburn 1 – 1 Manchester LEAGUE CUP

September 24, 2005 Manchester 1 – 2 Blackburn


April 2, 2005 Manchester 0 – 0 Blackburn

August 28, 2004 Blackburn 1 – 1 Manchester


May 1, 2004 Blackburn 1 – 0 Manchester

November 22, 2003 Manchester 2 – 1 Blackburn


April 19, 2003 Manchester 3 – 1 Blackburn

January 22, 2003 Blackburn 1 – 3 Manchester LEAGUE CUP

January 7, 2003 Manchester 1 – 1 Blackburn LEAGUE CUP

December 22, 2002 Blackburn 1 – 0 Manchester

Sorry for the couple of errors in the initial post...a couple of cut and paste errors and one dumb mistake on my part (Bentley's hattrick). Anyway, here is part two of the preview. As the edit function doesn't seem available on the original post, could one of the mods possibly add this to my original post:

Interview with my mate Ken, a United supporter.

As part of the match preview, here is a short interview with my friend Ken, a United supporter also living in Calgary, Canada. Calgary, of course, is also the birthplace of United mid-fielder Owen Hargreaves.

1. United seems to have been particularly successful in courting abroad supporters. Any suggestions as to why they have been so successful and what Rovers could do to develop a wider support base?

The club does a lot to help out official supporter's clubs around the world, looking after such things as ticket requests and providing former stars for fan club functions. They also play pre-season matches all over the globe - the last few seasons have seen these matches take place in the USA, South Africa & Asia. And honestly, winning the Premiership regularly doesn't hurt either.

2. Moving on to the upcoming game..let's start with any general thoughts on United's start to the 2008-09 season. It’s not often Rovers are above United in the table?

Well, we do have a game in hand! And we are one point ahead of last season's title winning form! This is the second season where we have stuttered at the start, the Boss has rotated heavily in an effort to get everyone up to match speed. The Ronaldo saga/injury has not helped, though Darren Fletcher has somehow contrived to play well and leads the team in Premiership goals. The last few games have shown our tempo and sharpness returning though, so beware.

3. As an outsider, it seems United are having trouble scoring goals. Is this a concern, or is it just a matter of time for Berbatov to gel with the team?

It's always a concern when the team doesn't score, thankfully we also have the league's best defence. Goals will come, there is too much quality in the side to think they won't.

4. In general, how has the take-over at Manchester City be viewed by United fans? Any chance Hughes could still become Fergie's successor?

Someone paid money for City?! It's early days, and past teams have shown that this can end up one of two ways. The Real Madrid way, where there are a ton of top players but they can't play together...or the Chel$ki way, where success can potentially be short-lived if the owner gets bored.

As for Sparky, he could be strong enough to hold it all together at City. He is still highly thought of at Old Trafford and would still be a top candidate for the Boss' job. With all the ex-United stars managing in the Premiership (Ince, Bruce, Keano, etc.) I'm sure one of them will get the job when the time comes. Sparky has the best resume though.

5. Who has been United's best player so far this season? Are there any players who are struggling?

Rio has been immense at the back, he may have finally grown up. I believe Rooney has been challenged this season, many feel his development is not where it should be - he will benefit from Berba's presence in the front line. Nani has been shocking so far and Wes Brown must be worried after not starting against Aalborg yesterday. We actually have some terrific prospects in the team now with Jonny Evans, Rafael, Fabio and Rodrigo Possebon. And some potentially solid players out on loan like Simmo (a local lad) and Campbell.

6. What United line-up would you expect Rovers to face on Saturday?

Van der Sar in goal as there is no one else fit!

Gary Neville, Rio, Vidic, Evra at the back.

Ronaldo, Fletcher, Anderson, Park in MF. We are hurting in the middle of the park right now with Scholes, Carrick and my man Hargreaves all injured.

Rooney and Berbatov up front - with Tevez ready to come on and repeat last season's late heroics if need be.

7. Your prediction for the match?

Our trips to Ewood Park are usually close affairs. Not this time. 3-0 to United, we are starting to come together and I’m not sure Ince will get the tactics right. Hope it's a close one though, good luck!

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This game has to be one of the most unpleasent games of the season with the horde of drunken aggressive abusive Manchester United fans.

The Fernhurst pub should be shut down for the day and tickets restricted to 4000 not 8k.

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Rovers on paper dont have a chance and the pundits will no doubt be pedicting a United win by 2 or more goals.

I am actually watching United right now on tv and they do not look as composed as they usually do through the middle and they have lost Scholes, our nemesis in the past, already with a twisted knee injury.

They look dangerous through Ronaldo and Nani, Rooney is a constant menace and has scored a great goal after a pass by Giggs. berbatov looks totally out of his depth and has missed a sitter.

Looking at the way AAlborg are going at United its clear that they are susceptible down the right flank and through the middle.

Rovers to use the famous 4-5-1 formation with the strings being pulled by Carlos.

You have to predict a United win but it will be close.

0-1 united

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People in Darwen better get boarding their windows up.

Agreed. The drunken scumbags get off the train in Darwen these days, walking to Ewood via the many pubs en route - and a 17.30 kick off - how that is allowed I'll never know.

Being a Darrener I usually park up in Lower Darwen and then have to run the gauntlet of cans, bottles, verbal abuse etc outside the Fernhurst as the intellectually challenged spill into the road by the pub.

Changing the topic somewhat - a tip to those that follow Rovers from afar - we are never, ever referred to as 'Blackburn' by our own support. We are 'Rovers' or 'The Rovers.' The only ones who refer to us as Blackburn are away fans.

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I can't be arsed going to the Manure game, I was going to the States but a family illness means staying at home.

I am off to see some proper sport, the Rugby League Super League Play off Final at old Trafford, rather than those bunch of overpaid poofters and soft nancy boys who will be coming to Ewood this weekend.

My 2 ST's have been given away for this Saturday. I hope the manc scum are not at there worst....given it is a 5.30pm kick off expect Blackburn and Darren town centers to be hell.

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People in Darwen better get boarding their windows up.

Most of the pub ones have been boarded up a while now!

It's gotta be Warnock and Emerton as full backs, Ronaldo would rip Olsson to bits. Warnock marked Ronaldo out of the game last time, he is needed on the left.

I've been saying that for the first four weeks of the season!

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I sympathise with those who say we need Warnock at left back but we also need him in the middle. Too many injuries! I could see Warnock's energy really causing problems for the composure of Hargreaves/Carrick/Anderson.

Game plan will be to get the ball high out wide to Cruz and Pedersen, to win the ball and provide to Carlos, as well as look for the ball into Roberts feet. Hopefully Warnock and Reid can win the physical battle in front of the defence and screen them well. Emerton and Olsson would be expected to support the midfield and provide the width with their pace on the counter.

With 20-30 mins left bring on Tugay if we look like we need ideas.

I think it could work.

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Most of the pub ones have been boarded up a while now!

I've been saying that for the first four weeks of the season!

Except Warnock has had stinkers frequently following great performances at left back. Which Warnock will turn up??? Play him in Midfield, he's performed there better than at full back.

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We are 25 people coming over from the norwegian supporterclub for this game. First game at Ewood for me! Really looking forward to it.

I would give my left arm for a victory in this one.

I hope warnock sticks to central midfield together with Emerton, RSC & Derbs on the flanks and Roberts up front.

Brown - Oijer, Samba, Nelsen, Olsson - Warnock, Emerton - Derbs, Carlos, Cruz - Roberts

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