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Blackburn v West Ham preview

28 Aug 2009 10:52:19

Blackburn v West Ham preview

Blackburn will be looking for their first points of the season when they face off against West Ham at Ewood Park on Saturday. Sam Allardyce's side claimed a confidence-boosting Carling Cup win over Gillingham in midweek but are yet to get off the mark in the Premier League. An opening-day defeat by Manchester City was followed a week later by a disappointing loss to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, where Rovers squandered many chances to take something from the game. Meanwhile, the Hammers will be looking for a quick return to winning ways in the league after coming unstuck against high-flying Spurs last time out. Although West Ham made a promising start and took the lead through Carlton Cole, goals from Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon turned the match around. But they will take heart from their win against a tough Wolves side two weeks ago and hope they can put in a similar performance at Ewood Park. Another victory came on Tuesday night, although Gianfranco Zola's side needed extra-time to see off Millwall in a clash marred by crowd trouble. Team NewsBlackburn will have to overcome a deficiency at the back if they are to emerge from the contest with a result. Stephen Warnock completed a move to Aston Villa during the week while New Zealand centre-back Ryan Nelsen has been ruled out with a knee injury. However, new signing Pascal Chimbonda could make an immediate debut and step into the hole left by Nelsen in the heart of the defence. There is more injury worry for Allardyce as midfielders Brett Emerton and Steven Reid have not managed to shake off respective thigh injuries. Former Real Madrid full-back Michel Salgado has reached match fitness after signing as a free agent while a hamstring injury has sidelined on-loan striker Franco Di Santo. More positive news comes in the form of Benni McCarthy, who should be fully recovered from an ankle knock, while David Dunn is likely to be named on the bench after his goalscoring return against Gillingham. Dean Ashton is still ruled out for the visitors with a recurring ankle injury and will not be available for the Hammers, while Luis Boa Morte (knee) and Valon Behrami (ankle) are also long-term absentees. James Tomkins made his return from a foot injury against Millwall but Herta Ilunga is still doubtful with a jaw problem. Possible Starting XIs: Blackburn: Robinson, Jacobsen, Samba, Chimbonda, Givet, Diouf, Andrews, N'Zonzi, Pedersen, McCarthy, Roberts West Ham: Green, Faubert, Upson, Tomkins, Spector, Noble, Parker, Collison, Stanislas, Cole, Jimenez


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