Blackburn Rovers vs. Liverpool: Preview, Live Stream, Start Time and More
With only seven games remaining on the schedule (six after Rovers visit West Bromwich Albion tomorrow), Steve Kean and Blackburn are running out of time to try and secure top-flight football for next season. They currently sit 18th in the table, tied on 28 points with both Wigan and Queens Park Rangers.
Liverpool, meanwhile, will go into the match with nothing but pride to play for. The Reds have already secured a Europa League berth courtesy of their Carling Cup triumph, but stand virtually no chance of reaching the Champions League positions, as they sit 16 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.
Whatever the result in their match with Aston Villa this weekend, Liverpool look like a team that will visit Blackburn with very little to play for. That could give Rovers a much needed edge.
This fixture is eerily reminiscent to that of last season, when a struggling Liverpool side visited Ewood Park amidst calls for manager Roy Hodgson to be fired. The Reds went on to lose that match 3-1, and Hodgson was given his marching orders only three days later.
Fast forward to the present, and Kenny Dalglish finds himself in a similar situation. With six losses in the last seven Premier League matches, Liverpool are in danger of dropping out of the top half of the table, and many supporters have aimed their criticism towards the Scottish manager.
Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans has asked fans to support Dalglish in spite of the club's recent struggles, but will that be enough?
Who will win the match?
Could another loss signal the end for King Kenny?
Here is everything you need to know about the match.
Where: Ewood Park, Blackburn, England
When: Tuesday, April 10, 3 p.m. ET
Player to Watch: Yakubu Aiyegbeni
In last season's 3-1 victory, it was two goals from former striker Benjani that helped Blackburn secure the three points.
This time around, it will be another African star looking to make the difference.
Yakubu is the most dangerous attacking threat for Rovers, as he leads the team with 14 goals this season. However, the 29-year-old has only found the net twice since the turn of the calendar, and will be hungry (no pun intended) to find his scoring touch once again.
Against a Liverpool side that has conceded seven goals in its last three matches, he may just find it.
Key Matchup: Junior Hoilett vs. Liverpool defenders
The 21-year-old Canadian is having a fine season for Blackburn, with six goals and five assist on the campaign so far. His performances have caught the eye of many around the Premier League, and his name has been linked with a move away from Ewood Park for much of the season.
Liverpool will be aware of the goal-scoring exploits of Yakubu, and it may be Hoilett who benefits from the added space granted to him if too much attention is turned towards the Nigerian.
Hoilett will do much of his damage attacking down the right flank and cutting inside to support his attack partner, which means we could see a fine battle between himself and Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique, who has been one of the few consistent performers for Dalglish this season.
What They're Saying
Despite the fact that Blackburn have suffered two consecutive defeats heading into Saturday's match with West Brom, manager Steve Kean remains confident that his team will avoid the drop.
"We are convinced we have got the players and the fixtures ahead of us that we can get ourselves out of this position we are in."
A win against Liverpool would certainly be a big step in the right direction.
Prediction: Blackburn 2-1 Liverpool
With Liverpool possibly having one eye on the FA Cup semifinal with Everton coming up next weekend, Blackburn seem to be meeting them at the perfect time. Look for Yakubu to find the mark, and lead his team to an important victory.
Follow me on Twitter @GianlucaNesci
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