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Southampton Preview.


Alan75
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Over the years Rover’s and Southampton have been involved in many a transfer deal, Kenna, Davies, Ripley, Ostenstad and whenever anyone mentions the Blackburn Championship winning team, two of the players that spring to mind are Alan Shearer and Tim Flowers, both signed from tomorrows opposition at Ewood Park.

Blackburn’s Championship side has now been dismantled, with all the players going in different directions, one of which is Graham Le Saux who returns to Ewood with Southampton tomorrow along with former Rover’s youth team players James Beattie and Brett Ormerod.

Not only on the pitch do Rovers and Southampton have links, with Graeme Souness once having also managed Southampton and Blackburn’s Chief Executive John Williams being a Southampton supporters prior to joining Rovers.

On the field of play Rovers record against Southampton in the Premiership at Ewood has on the whole being successful with 7 wins and 1 draw. Southampton only once coming away from Ewood with maximum points in the 1998-99 season when Rovers were relegated.

With caretaker manager Steve Wigley still in charge for tomorrows game, following the resignation of Gordon Strachan, Southampton players will be eager to impress any prospective new manager, be it Glenn Hoddle or Leeds United coach Kevin Blackwell, who according to some reports is a strong contender for the post, along with former Marseille boss Alain Perrin.

Rover’s players also have their own reasons to impress tomorrow, with the news this week that Blackburn’s injury worries are at last clearing up. Reports coming out of Ewood Park would indicate that Reid and Amoruso will be available for selection in two to three weeks and Ferguson could be back in around five weeks. Certain players will need to fight to retain their first team selection when all the squad is fully fit, plus reports that fringe players are performing well at reserve and youth team level.

With Rovers again balancing precariously above the relegation zone, tomorrow’s game is another must win game, against a team that hasn’t won in their last five away games. Rover’s should however not be to complacent about this statistic as Southampton have the ability to punish any team, as Everton found out to their cost last weekend, when Southampton came back from two goals down to draw 3-3 at St Mary’s Stadium.

A defeat for Rover’s tomorrow is a result that cannot be contemplated if Rovers are to pull away from the relegation pack and a statistic that wouldn’t please Graeme Souness, as it would be his 50th defeat as Rover’s manager.

Squad news ……..

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Tickets are still available for the game.

Juniors £5 all areas

Seniors £14 all areas

Adults start at £15 (CIS outer), £17 (JW Lower Outer) and so on...

Link to Ticket Office Details

Tickets can be booked online at Seatbooker and picked up on the day of the game.Call 08701 123456 for further information.

Also, the matchday programme will be available for online purchase from about 6pm this evening, keep an eye out on the official site later in the day.

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Blackburn squad : Friedel, Neill, Short, Babbel, Todd, Gray, Gresko, Emerton, Flitcroft, Tugay, Douglas, Cole, Gallagher, Enckelman, Johansson, Andresen, Jansen, Yorke.

Southampton squad : Niemi, Dodd, M Svensson, Higginbotham, Le Saux, Telfer, Prutton, Delap, Fernandes, Beattie, Phillips, Ormerod, Hall, Kenton, Lundekvam, Crainey, Pahars, Smith.

Referee : Steve Dunn, who booked Cole and Gresko in Rovers 3-4 defeat against Bolton at Ewood Park.

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