Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers Preview – Premier League – 31 October 2009

Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers
English Premier League
Old Trafford
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Kick-off: 1730 GMT

Swine-flu and poor defending will be the talk of the day, as Manchester United take on Blackburn Rovers in a late kickoff on Saturday.

Blackburn had a few players laid low because of the swine flu although one of them, David Dunn, was on the subs bench midweek and could be in line for a start on Saturday. Manchester United have no swine flu worries but coming off a 2-0 defeat in the league, the English champions will be looking to score quite a few goals and get themselves back on track.

Add this to Blackburn’s poor away record this season and their shoddy defending, and this could be a good day for the United forwards.

Watch Manchester United vs Blackburn Rovers live in the English Premier League by signing up to view the best football feeds online with the Live Sport Network.

Manchester United Preview

Manchester United have dropped points in two of the last three league games (to Sunderland and to Liverpool), and will be desperate to get last Sunday’s Anfield defeat out of the system. There are doubts on the availability of certain players due to fitness concerns but the signs have been encouraging with Obertan and Rafael both playing in the Carling Cup game in midweek.

Manchester United will definitely be without Ji-sung Park while Darren Fletcher has yet to play since injuring his foot on international duty with Scotland. Owen Hargreaves is some distance away from a start but there’s a chance Obertan will play, although there’s still no sign of Tosic or Gibson getting a Premier League start anytime soon.

There have been rumours about Rio Ferdinand being replaced in the starting lineup but the most likely scenario with Rio is that he will, if he’s fit, be allowed to play as many games as he needs to get his fitness and form back – games will be coming in thick and fast during Nov and Dec and United will need their best players in form and hopefully fit.

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Blackburn Rovers Preview

Blackburn haven’t won on the road in the league this season, and they’re leaking an alarming number of goals.

A 3-2 triumph in the derby against Burnley, which came between a 6-2 defeat to Arsenal and last weekend’s 5-0 hammering at Chelsea, provides some hope, as has their 5-2 midweek victory over Peterborough in the Carling Cup. But 15 goals conceded in the last four games is hardly the best preparation for a trip to OT.

Christopher Samba, Pascal Chimbonda and Vince Grella are doubts for this game, while David Dunn could make a return to the side after being laid low since last week because of swine flu.

It’s confidence as oppose to fit bodies that will be Blackburn’s problem, with the team making basic mistakes in their defending and provoking manager Sam Allardyce to publicly criticise his team. Against United the team are likely to be high on motivation but short on impact, such is the gulf in class in the two clubs’ strength in depth and quality on the pitch.

Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers Prediction

The numbers tell their own story. Blackburn have a leaky defence, and Manchester United tend to bounce back from defeat looking stronger than ever. Factor in the fact that this is a home game, and you wouldn’t be too surprised if United were 2-0 up by half-time.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Blackburn Rovers

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Watch Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers Live Online

Watch Manchester United vs Blackburn Rovers live in the English Premier League by signing up to view the best football feeds online with the Live Sport Network.

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