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[Archived] Rovers V Chelsea Match Preview

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Well folks, for the arm chair fans and those unlucky enough to reside outside of Blighty, Rovers versus Chelsea provide the Sunday lunchtime match entertainment. The game will be broadcast worldwide and the whole world will be watching the Chelsea allstar cast as they take to the lush Ewood Park pitch in preparation for their next haul of an expected 3 points with lucky old Blackburn Rovers, the team that likes to roll over, their intended victims.

This Sunday sees the visit to Ewood of the 3rd of the "big four" for the 1.30pm kick off. We all know that so far, temperamental Asenal notched 4 goals without reply whilst manure came to Ewood and took a 2 goal victory without even having to break sweat or get out of lethargic gear, such was the ease of the two victories it seemed unbelieveable that a Rovers side that, over the years, have made teams like this fearful of coming to Ewood fearing a quality team with work ethics. Such was the concern of the likes of Mourinho and Wenger, they went public about how coming to Blackburn was such a hard task.

This coming weekend now sees Big Phil Scolari bringing HIS Chelsea team North. They sit proudly at the top of the league and have a goal difference of plus 23. The entertainment factor of this team has to be the best ever seen in The Premier League, far better than when Mourinho was at the helm. A team that with a total of 8 multi million players missing can still go on and score goals in abundance.

Chelsea will bring a multi national squad to Ewood this year and hope to continue their fine run of results against Rovers in recent years and a quick run down of their players shows the quality that will be on show.


A Cole





J Cole









Di santo

Out injured so far is Carvalho !

So, as it stands, and with a Champions League game to play, Chelsea will bring a squad worth around £195m to play a recently bedraggled Blackburn team, a team that leaks goals, appears to have little creativity and a squad that is decimated with injuries to vital players such as Dunn and RSC.

It does not look promising for a Rovers win and I would imagine that the least odds on a Rovers victory is going to be around 9-1, so if your a gambling man go for it.

In trying to keep up the quality standard of the match previews, I have decided to look at two historical matches against Chelsea, I have even exchanged emails with their once famous chairman, Captain Birdseye, just to get an insight into the times when Chelsea were just another team and had NO money, fans with only a reputation for violence and the worst ground/pitch ever.

Way back in December 1983, The FA Cup 3rd round was made and paired Rovers with Chelsea, a home tie being given to Rovers.

A Rovers team that was managed by Bobby Saxton contained stalwarts such as Glenn Keeley, Colin Randell, Simon Garner, Chris Thompson, Windy Miller, Mark Patterson, David Mail, Simon Barker, Derek Fazackerley and THE KING, Noel Brotherston.

Up until January, this Rovers team, who had finished in 11th spot the previous season, had only lost 4 games. 11 wins and 8 draws had put Rovers firmly in the running for promotion to the big time. The clear favourites were Chelsea, with the likes of Sheff Wednesday, Man City and Newcastle amongst the BIG clubs viying for promotion.

The league clash between Rovers and Chelsea at Ewood back in September had been a 0-0 draw in front of a crowd of 5873 ! Rovers had also lost to City 6-0, Sheff Wed 4-2 whilst they had notched a notable 1-1 draw away at St James Park. It will serve as evidence that way back then, 33000 was the crowd at Newcastle easily outstretching other league attendance in this league, Rovers highest being 19000 versus Newcastle at home.

So back to the Cup. A crowd of just under 11000 braved the wintry conditions, it was January and we had no such luxuries such as undersoil heating ! My only real recollection of this game is that it was boring, a game where Chelsea had all of the chances and couldnt score. But, hey, for the people who can recall these days, Rovers had a team that had quality right through the centre of the team. With Killer and Faz at the back, Barker and Patterson in the middle and Goalden Garns and The King Rovers always had the ability of scoring goals and defending well. There was perhaps no player in Rovers recent history such as The King. Old Brothhead, as he was affectionately known, stole the show and the game with a classic goal and Rovers moved into the 4th round and a game against Swindon Town. Anothe win saw us on tv for a 4th round game at Southampton were we duly lost 1-0.

At the end of this season Rovers finished a creditable 6th place with 67 points whilst Chelsea won promotion into the then Division 1.Out of interest Rovers lost the away game at the Bridge 2-1.

The second game back in history between these two clubs is from 1987, a night game at Ewood and a quarter final tie in The Full Members Cup.

Everyone attached to our club knows the significance of this game and the effect it had on the club, the town and the attention it brought to Blackburn as a whole.

This season had started with Saxton once again in charge but which saw the manager change when Don McKay was appointed following an horrendous run of results. After opening the seaon with 3 straight wins 2-1 Leeds, 6-1 Sunderland sandwiched with a 1-0 win at Shewsbury, Rovers went on a run of games which they won only 1 game of the next 17, losing 11 and drawing 5. The board clearly lost faith with Saxton and fired him. However and despite the poor run, Rovers embarked in the new cup competition with gusto it would seem two Lancs/Yorks derbies saw us despatch Huddersifeld and Sheff Utd befor a home draw in January saw us defeat Oxford in an entertaining game that saw Rovers win 4-3. Unfortunately for me, this was to be the last home game I saw as I was despatched to the Red Sea/Gulf the following day where I remained until 3 days before the final when I flew to Gibraltar.

The quarter final saw Rovers draw a home tie with first division Chelsea. The excitement clearly was happening at Ewood as after crowds of 1947 at Huddersfield, 2220 at Sheff Utd and 2842 at home to Oxford, a crowd of 7298 turned up on a March evening. Chelsea were also the reigning "Champions" of the cup having beaten Man City 5-4 the season before. I cant tell you anything about the game as I was away but never the less, a Rovers side with the likes of Garner and Curry up front, a midfield of Ainscough, Barker and Miller despatched the Chelsea team 3-0, the scorers being Curry, Garner and Miller. We then went onto beat Ipswich at home in the semi final before doing Charlton at Wembley 1-0 when our old hero, Sir Colin, thumped the ball home following his signing from Dundee.

In the King Kenny era, Rovers had a decent record against Chelsea but as those memories fade so does our record. Chelsea under various management have always seemed to do well, apart from when we had the Savage/Reid goal, at Ewood. Whilst at the Bridge, Rovers have shipped some goals.

We know just how far Rovers pushed them at Old Trafford when we saw narrowly missed out on an FA Cup Final slot, the German cheat Ballack slamming home the winner in extra time.

As, I said, I have exchanged emails with Ken Bates, the man who says what he thinks. The man with the mdas touch as far as football clubs go. The man who famously purchased Chelsea for £1, rebuilt the stadium, stood toe to toe with their fans and gave them what for Cloughie style, the man who took on the big wigs at The FA, the man who was locked up for drugs (cannabis), the man who made millions from land purchases and the man who later sold Chelsea for an incredible profit of some £130m when the Roman Abramovitch circus hit town. This is the man who still owns the top floor of the Hotel that is part of the ground such is his nouse in business deals.

I have asked him about his memories of Blackburn Rovers as he did once reside in the lovely village of Wheelton, where I was his paper lad and later on milk lad !

He recounted to me tales of Bill Fox and the way that BRFC were reveered about in the world of football. A "Homely" club with poor facilities, cold water in the showers, great boardroom, good club atmosphere in a rickety old ground. He told me of the arguments in the bar with Garner for smoking after the game and the fact that he tried without success to get Keeley banned for life following an ill fated challenge on Len Fucillo when killer cut him in half in the Blackburn End goalmouth when playing for Luton !

He told me tales of how he was really chuffed for Sir Jack for taking Rovers into the prmoised land. He recounted the anger he felt when Rovers took Ian Pearce from Chelsea and sold them a donkey (Livingstone), he recalled his furore when Le Saux went to Ewood for £500k and then saw Chelsea fork out £5m PLUS for him when they resigned him. The same when Chelsea fored out £10m for Sutton.

This guy really was Mr Chelsea. A lot of people know the fans reputation of Chelsea. Mr Bates actually went to court to give character witnesses for some fans but then caused disdain for them when he told the Magistrates to lock them all up when he heard what it was they had done ! A man who many never crossed paths with and won !

His best deal - buying Chelsea for a quid .

His best signing - Butch Wilkins.

His best manager - Ruud Gullit.

His best player - Dennis Wise in recent years, best ever are Speedie, Dixon and Nevin.

His worst player - declined.

His worst nightmare from his time at Chelsea - firing Vialli.

His worst deal - failing to get Terry Venables back in as manager.

Memories of Rovers v Chelsea - Losing 2-1 at home when Sutton scored the winner and the girly fight between le Saux and a Rovers player at Ewood Park !

He declined to give any prediction, so I emailed Lovejoy, ex of soccer am and now of radio fame. his simple one liner 7-0 Chelsea.

For me,I remain dismayed at Rovers lack of effort against the like of Arsenal and Manure this season. I cannot see any way forward for Rovers in this game, unles of course, Chelsea get 7 injuries in midweek focring them to play their reserve team and youth team.

0-6 Chelsea.

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Great Preview, 1864. I woke this morning still on a high thinking of the way the lads suddenly stopped rolling over and went for it in the closing minutes of the game yesterday.

Reality set in sooner rather than later. In a game that is going to be very, very tough, Bert possibly injured (?); Roque injured; Dunny/Reid injured; Ooijer injured; Benni suspended; it doesn't look hopeful at all. I hope and pray the loss isn't too heavy, our goal difference is shocking enough as it is...

We need the fans to be up for this one, to turn up in force and sing their hearts out.

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Fantastic preview 1864!

The Full Members Cup Win against Chelsea (and I might be confusing this with the semi with Ipswich which I think we also won 3-0) saw all three goals come in a burst between the 55th and 60th minutes.

The game next Sunday is a terrifying prospect- if there are any three goal five minute bursts I think we all know whose net they will be going in.

Rovers have been set-up to play passing mobile football in every game so far this season but have looked a shambles whenever midfield control is siezed by the opposition. Unless we either score early and then defend the lead for once or Paul Ince sets the team up completely differently we will get hammered.

Chelsea probably came off yesterday to a Scolari ear bashing for having gone 5-0 with 40 minutes left to play and not scoring any more against Sunderland.

Our record defeat is only 0-8 by the way.

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We can't stand off them or show any respect like we did against Arsenal and Man Utd, as Chelsea have showed they can damage teams when given time to play - like against Middlesbrough and Sunderland, both 5-0 wins.

It may turn out they are just too good for us on the day - but if that's the case I want to see us go down with a fight.

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Our team will probably adopt the 'it's one of the big 4 so we may as well not turn up' attitude for this game. So continuing with the team's philosophy I wouldn't expect anything here other than a sound beating.

I wouldn't feel confident if we were playing Stoke or Bolton at home let alone these guys.

I would go as far to say however that the following week's match against Sunderland is a must win game, where anything other than a win will not be good enough for many fans and maybe even the club.

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I really enjoyed the preview.

What I remember about the FA cup match was that we did indeed win 1-0, but Chelsea had a goal disallowed.

Graham Taylor was in the away Directors box, just in front of my seat in the Nuttall Street stand. He agreed it was technically a foul on one of our defenders but he said it was the kind of foul that was not always given.

I have no idea how we will do on Sunday. My only current comment is that Chelsea will be extremely worried about their next 2 matches.

Us. And Burnley.

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Afraid to say it but Chelsea will demolish us...

Just looked at the table and we are only a couple of points above the relegation zone, it is fast approaching the Christmas make or break period and I am not optimistic in the slightest that we will be a good few points more clear of it by then.

I just wish I could be and I honestly mean that.

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Yup, Benni will have his 1 game suspension and Roque will still be injured :(

So Roberts, Fowler and Derbyshire to choose from :S

cool so derbyshire on the wing with Fowler & Roberts starting, Roberts taking the pens :P

i would start this game with only derbs upfront, r even villanueva playing up front, i have no fath in the other two.

but dont think it matters what we do, as it would require all the team to play out of the skins for 95mins, Chelsea are on fire only losing to there boggy team.

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This is the wrong fixture at the wrong time for us.

A last minute winner should lead to heightened morale and provide us with something to build on. In all likelihood it wont matter here.

Having said that, anything better than a defeat would be a massive shot in the arm, particularly given Ince's record against the top 4 so far.

Can't see it though. 2-0 Chelsea.

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