Blackburn Rovs v Liverpool Preview

Last updated : 05 January 2011 By BBC Sport

Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles is a doubt after he limped off in the win over Bolton.

Captain Steven Gerrard will be restored to the starting line-up, but Jamie Carragher remains on the sidelines.



Suspended: Kalinic (two matches)

Doubtful: Hanley & Samba (both ankle)

Injured/Unavailable: Andrews & Grella (both groin), Emerton (international duty), Jones (knee), N'Zonzi & Roberts (both hamstring), Robinson (calf)


Doubtful: Meireles (ankle)

Injured: Carragher (shoulder), Spearing (ankle)



A narrow win over Bolton may have loosened the noose around Roy Hodgson's neck, but the Liverpool manager knows it is merely a stay of execution unless his team can continue to win, and win well. Bitter foes Manchester United and Everton lie in wait following their trip to Ewood Park and unless the Reds impress, Hodgson's P45 will be swiftly delivered.

We are all out there playing for the shirt and the manager... We have all got to stick together because there is no-one bigger than the club

How Liverpool and Hodgson have ended up in this unseemly mess is down to many reasons, but his abject failure to get his side playing well away from home has been a key factor. During his last 27 away matches as manager of Fulham and now Liverpool, he has masterminded just one win.

Hodgson has seen his team score a pathetic six goals in 10 league matches outside Anfield. However, their away day blues were a problem before he took over at Liverpool; incredibly the club posted just two away league wins in the whole of 2010.

Venky's, Blackburn's new owners, have proven to be ruthless when it comes to dismissing managers. Their bombshell decision to axe Sam Allardyce continues to rankle amongst the club's fans, but the outlandish bid to sign Ronaldinho, the two-time World Player of the Year, is a calculated move designed to get the supporters back on side.

If the flamboyant Brazilian did sign, it would be intriguing to see how he would adjust to Blackburn's brand of long-ball football that has been derided in so many quarters in recent times.




• Liverpool are unbeaten in their last seven league matches against Blackburn. Rovers have won just one of their last 20 matches in all competitions against Liverpool and just one of the last 24 in the Premier League.

• They have played each other 33 times in the Premier League. Blackburn have won six, Liverpool 16 and there have been 11 draws.

• Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson was in charge of Blackburn Rovers for 62 matches from 1997/98. He won 22, drew 18 and lost 22.



• Rovers have failed to win either of their two matches at Ewood Park under manager Steve Kean. They won their last three home matches under Sam Allardyce.

• Rovers' defenders have netted six Premier League goals this season, more than any other side has managed.

• Blackburn are the only team not to win any points from a losing position in the top flight this season.

• They have the worst record in the division against top-half opposition, taking only five points from 11 matches.


• Remarkably, Liverpool managed to win just two out of 18 league away games in 2010. Both were against north west clubs beginning with B; 4-0 at Burnley and 1-0 at Bolton.

• Roy Hodgson has won just two of six matches as a manager against his former club Blackburn. He has failed to win on any his three visits to Ewood Park.

• Without goals or assists from Steven Gerrard this season, Liverpool would be in 19th position in the league.

• Fernando Torres has scored five goals in four league matches against Blackburn.



Mame Diouf: 6 goals (3 league)


Ngog: 8 goals (2 league); Gerrard: 7 goals (3 league)


Referee: Andre Marriner

Assistant referees: Mike Cairns & Ron Ganfield

Fourth official: Lee Mason


Blackburn (L0-3 v Sunderland, a): Bunn, Givet, Hanley (Mwaruwari 46), Nelsen, Olsson, El-Hadji Diouf, Emerton, Dunn (Goulon 85), Pedersen, Mame Diouf, Hoilett (Morris 78). Subs not used: Fielding, Linganzi, Doran, Lowe.

Liverpool (W2-1 v Bolton, h): Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger (Kyrgiakos 89), Aurelio, Kuyt, Lucas, Meireles (Gerrard 21), Maxi, Torres, Ngog (Cole 82). Subs not used: Jones, Babel, Poulsen, Kelly.

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport