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Everton v Blackburn preview

18 Sep 2009 11:40:50

Everton v Blackburn preview

// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Everton will be hoping to take some momentum from Europe into their Premier League campaign when they face Blackburn on Sunday. David Moyes' side have made a shaky start to the season, suffering another setback last time out against Fulham. Despite their league struggles, the Toffees have shown fine form in the Europa League, claiming a convincing qualifying round victory over Sigma Olomouc before hammering AEK Athens in the first group match on Thursday. But those performances will have to be transformed into domestic success soon if Everton are to mount another challenge for the European places this season. Blackburn also endured a faltering start to the current campaign but managed to pick up their first win of the season against Wolves last Saturday. After scoring only once in their first three games, Rovers looked much more dangerous in front of goal against Mick McCarthy's side and could have widened the eventual 3-1 scoreline were it not for keeper Wayne Hennessey. But Blackburn are still looking for a first point away from home, having benefited from three out of their first four games being held at Ewood Park. However, Rovers did emerge victorious the last time they travelled to Goodison Park when Andre Ooijer struck in injury-time on the opening day of last season. Team newsNew Everton signing Lucas Neill is ready for a debut against his former club but it remains to be seen whether or not Moyes will elect to continue with Tony Hibbert. Skipper Phil Neville has been added to the Toffees' list of long-term absentees after damaging knee ligaments at Craven Cottage. After an impressive full debut against AEK in midweek, Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov could start with versatile new boy John Heitinga also in contention for a place in the first XI. Moyes is still without the services of key players Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka, who both still face lengthy spells on the sidelines but Yakubu is nearing a return to full fitness following another substitute appearance on Thursday. In contrast, Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has a full-strength squad to choose from ahead of the contest. Midfielder Steven Nzonzi and front-man Benni McCarthy have both recovered from injuries and will be available for selection on Sunday. Former Everton defender Lars Jacobsen is set to make a return to Goodison Park if he retains his place at right-back ahead of new signing Michel Salgado. Possible Starting XIsEverton: Howard, Heitinga, Yobo, Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Bilyaletdinov, Fellaini, Rodwell, Cahill, Jo Blackburn: Robinson, Jacobsen, Chimbonda, Samba, Givet, Andrews, Grella, Diouf, Dunn Pedersen, Roberts


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