Hull City Vs Blackburn Rovers, Kingston Communications Stadium,Hull, England, 12th December 2009, 15:00GMT
On Saturday, Sam Alladyce and his Blackburn Rovers team take the trip down the M62 to KC Stadium to face Hull City and his old friend Phil Brown. The last time the two faced off was in early March this year as the 2008/09 season was drawing to a close. The game finished with the Riversiders winning 2-1, with Stephen Warnock and Tiger's old boy Keith Andrews on target for Blackburn and the Tiger's captain Ian Ashbee getting a consolation goal.
The clubs see themselves sitting within three places of each other and only two points apart, with Blackburn in 12th on 18 points, and Hull City in 16th on 16 points.
The Tigers who have been going through a bit of a purple patch in November, gaining eight points from a possible 12, were brought down to earth last weekend when Aston Villa put three past them at Villa Park. If the loss wasn't enough, record signing and recent Barclays Premiership Player of the Month winner for November, Jimmy Bullard, suffered a sprained medial ligament injury that will probably keep him out until the end of January 2010.
The Tigers will also be without the services of last season's scorer Ashbee, who is a long term casualty. Hull City manager Brown will be giving late fitness tests for Andy Dawson and Anthony Gardner who both picked up niggling injuries.
However, Brown will be happy to see the return of Seyi Olofinjana, who has been absent for the past month after sustaining an injury whilst on international duty with Nigeria. He will also have the tricky task of whether to bring back Boaz Myhill into the Hull City goal. The Welsh international has returned from injury, but will find it difficult to dislodge the incumbent keeper, Matt Duke, who has been in fine form through November.
The Riversiders are without David Dunn, who suffered a calf injury in the goalless draw with Stoke City two weeks ago. Alladyce will be hoping that he can get the influential play-maker back to full fitness, despite the success of a Carling Cup Quarter Final victory on penalties against Premier League leaders Chelsea last week and the nil, nil draw against Liverpool last weekend.
Alladyce will be happy with recent performances but will be worried that his team is struggling to score in the League. Likewise, Brown will be hoping to recapture the recent form that has taken the Tigers away from the relegation zone but will be hoping that the loss to Aston Villa doesn't become a trend.