Everton v Blackburn Rovs Preview

Last updated : 15 April 2011 By BBC Sport

Everton continue to be without Mikel Arteta, who is still troubled by a hamstring injury.Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman will be assessed after missing out last week, while Tim Cahill remains a major doubt.

Blackburn defender Ryan Nelsen has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, while Steven Nzonzi remains suspended.

Junior Hoilett is a doubt with a hamstring injury, but Roque Santa Cruz has overcome a similar problem.


Doubtful: Cahill (foot), Coleman & Rodwell (both ankle)

Injured: Arteta & Baxter (both hamstring), Fellaini & Saha (both ankle)


Suspended: Nzonzi (two matches) Doubtful: Hoilett (hamstring)

Injured: Andrews (groin), Grella (Achilles), Nelsen (knee)


Two months ago, Everton's injury-ravaged squad were only three points ahead of the relegation zone and facing what looked like a battle to avoid the drop.

About a month ago the manager said we're going to get back to basics and play to our strengths. It's amazing that when you simplify your game you score more goals

However, manager David Moyes has once again galvanised his side when it matters most. The Toffees are currently equal-top of the six-game form table and chasing down city rivals Liverpool, who are only four points ahead of them. Everton have finished above the Reds just once during Moyes' nine-year reign, and only twice in the last 24 years.

One of Everton's unsung heroes this term has been local-born midfielder Leon Osman. The Toffees have won seven of the last 11 league games that the 29-year-old has started, and lost only two of the 14 Premier League matches that he has begun. He has also assisted three of in-form striker Jermaine Beckford's last five league goals, including each of the the last two.

Whereas Everton are now looking up, opponents Blackburn are nervously looking down towards the bottom three following a run of eight games without a win. Steve Kean's side may have drawn at Arsenal in their last away game but their form on the road in 2011 leaves a lot to be desired. They have lost five of six matches and conceded 17 goals in the process.

Several Rovers fans may be jittery about the club's survival chances but the bookmakers appear not to share their pessimism. Blackburn are rated the fifth favourites to go down, with the sides occupying the bottom four places all odds-on for the drop.



• Blackburn are looking to complete a first league double over Everton since the 2003/04 season. Rovers' top scorer Nikola Kalinic netted the only goal in a 1-0 win at Ewood Park in August.

• Everton have won three out of the last five league encounters between the clubs at Goodison Park.

• Blackburn have registered seven Premier League victories at Everton - only Manchester United (13), Arsenal (9) and Liverpool (8) have enjoyed more wins there during the Premier League era.


• The Toffees have won five of their last seven matches. They had only previously won five of their opening 25 Premier League fixtures.

• If David Moyes' side avoid defeat it will equal their longest unbeaten run this season of seven games, also achieved between September and November last year.

• Everton have lost 99 home games in the Premier League era.


• No club has conceded more goals (38) on their travels than Blackburn.

• Rovers own the sixth best first-half record in the Premier League, but they also own the worst second-half record.

• Blackburn are one of three Premier League clubs yet to come from behind to win a league match this season - the others are Aston Villa and Sunderland.

• Morten Gamst Pedersen could make his 250th start for Blackburn.



Saha: 10 goals (7 league); Cahill: 9 goals (9 league), Beckford: 9 goals (7 league)


Kalinic: 6 goals (5 league); Mame Diouf: 6 goals (3 league)


Referee: Kevin Friend

Assistant referees: Patrick Keane & Andy Madley

Fourth official: Anthony Taylor


Everton (W3-0 v Wolves, a): Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye (Anichebe 64), Neville, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov (Forshaw 82), Osman, Beckford (Vellios 73). Subs not used: Mucha, Mustafi, McAleny, Nsiala.

Blackburn (D1-1 v Birmingham, h): Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen (Roberts 35), Olsson, J Jones, P Jones, Pedersen, Dunn, Hoilett (Emerton 69), Santa Cruz (Mwaruwari 63). Subs not used: Bunn, Rochina, Hanley, Diouf.

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport