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Blackburn v Wolves preview

11 Sep 2009 11:15:16

Blackburn v Wolves preview

Blackburn will be hopeful of claiming their first league win of the season as they host newly-promoted Wolves on Saturday. Rovers have taken just one point from their opening three games after going down to Manchester City and Sunderland before being held to a goalless draw by West Ham. Blackburn hammered Wolves 5-1 the last time the two sides met at Ewood Park early in the 2003/04 season. But goals have been hard to come by for Rovers this season, with Gael Givet's effort at Sunderland their only league strike so far. New Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic missed some gilt-edged opportunities at the Stadium of Light after being an early substitute for the injured Franco Di Santo. Some fans even vented their frustration at Rovers' aerial tactics during the 0-0 draw with West Ham last time out. But Sam Allardyce's approach has created chances and this week the Rovers boss called for his misfiring strikers to show greater composure in front of goal. Jason Roberts is set to lead the line for Saturday's clash and will be keen to improve on a record of just one goal in his last 17 games, and although on-loan Di Santo is fit again, Benni McCarthy (ankle) remains doubtful. Midfielder Brett Emerton is almost back in contention following a cruciate ligament injury, while former Real Madrid full-back Michel Salgado will be hoping to make his Rovers bow at some stage. Wolves may have only scored two goals so far on their Premier League return but one of those - an Andy Keogh header - was enough to clinch a 1-0 victory at Wigan. Mick McCarthy's men drew 1-1 at home to Hull City last time out, giving them four points so far and a platform to build on as they seek to secure their top-flight status for another season. Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle will return from international duty in high spirits having scored the opener in last Saturday's 2-1 win against Cyprus before being handed the captain's armband for Tuesday's 1-0 win over South Africa. McCarthy will still be without strike pair Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (hamstring) and Chris Iwelumo (metatarsal), though. Winger Michael Kightly (metatarsal) is back in training but not yet ready for a first-team return, while right-back Kevin Foley (knee) is still on the road to recovery. New signings Segundo Castillo and Stefan Maierhofer are hoping to make their debuts at Ewood Park. Possible starting XIs Blackburn: Robinson, Jacobsen, Samba, Givet, Chimbonda, Diouf, Andrews, Dunn, N'Zonzi, Pedersen, Roberts. Wolves: Hennessey, Stearman, Craddock, Mancienne, Elokobi, Halford, Jarvis, Henry, Milijas, Doyle, Keogh.


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