Matchfile: Sunderland v Blackburn

21 August 2009 04:27
SUNDERLAND Fulop Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney Henderson, Cana, Leadbitter, Richardson Bent, Jones

Roberts, McCarthy Pedersen, Nzonzi, Andrews, Diouf Warnock, Nelsen, Samba, Jacobsen Robinson BLACKBURN

Sunderland subs (from): Gordon, Nosworthy, Da Silva, Reid, Tainio, Edwards, Murphy, Healy, Campbell. Blackburn subs (from): Brown, Givet, Grella, Khizanishvili, Hoilett, Olsson, Di Santo, Kalinic, van Heerden.

SUNDERLAND: Steve Bruce has a number of injury worries ahead of this afternoon's home game with Blackburn. Lee Cattermole and Steed Malbranque are both expected to miss out, with the former suffering from a back injury sustained against Chelsea and the latter struggling with an ankle problem picked up at Bolton on the opening day of the season. Lorik Cana is expected to start despite damaging his left hand against Chelsea, while Kieran Richardson is also likely to play despite a leg problem. Goalkeeper Marton Fulop is having painkilling injections in his injured heel. Suspensions: None Injuries: Cattermole (back), Malbranque (ankle), McShane (knee) Last five league games: LWLLD Leading league scorer: Bent 2 Next game: vs Norwich (A) 24/08/09

BLACKBURN: Sam Allardyce welcomes club captain Ryan Nelsen back into his squad for the trip to the Stadium of Light. Nelsen missed Blackburn's opening-day defeat to Manchester City with a knee problem, but the New Zealand international has recovered to boost his side's rearguard. Vince Grella is pushing for a starting spot after coming off the bench last weekend, while new striker Nikola Kalinic is also hoping to feature following a summer move from Hadjuk Split. Fellow new signing Michel Salgado is yet to receive international clearance, so will have to wait before making his Rovers debut. Suspensions: None Injuries: Dunn (hamstring), Emerton (knee), Reid (leg) Last five league games: LDLWL Leading league scorer: None Key Player: El-Hadji Diouf - The former Sunderland player will be desperate to impress as he returns to his former stamping ground.

Last season: 0-0 League head to head: Sunderland 57, Blackburn 41, Draws 24 Referee: Alan Wiley (Burntwood) G2 Y6 R0 Ave: 3.0 Last Sunderland game: vs Portsmouth (A) L1-3 18/05/09 Y1 R0 Odds: HEvens; A11/4; D12/5

It's a fact: Sunderland and Blackburn met on five separate occasions last season, with the Black Cats only coming out on top once.

Comment by Paul Fraser: Blackburn are no Chelsea, so Sunderland can return to winning ways this afternoon. Prediction: 2-1

Source: Northern_Echo