Blackburn v United Preview
Surely the hard work was done last weekend when we beat Chelsea 2-1? Surely the point we require to make it 19 top-flight titles will be attained at Ewood Park? Surely United celebrating a Premier League title win will totally eclipse anything our noisy-neighbours might achieve down in London a few hours later? Life can be tough can`t it?
Blackburn, struggling to avoid relegation, may well be thinking back to a few words uttered by Sir Alex relating to their fate after Sam Allardyce was shown the door. Steve Kean, having crossed paths with Sir Alex at a reserve fixture on Wednesday, has convinced himself that Sir Alex is not planning a revenge mission and has been quoted as having said,
"I think what he said back then was to be expected. When a friend loses their job it`s a shock, and he backed his friend."
Don`t kid yourself Steve, we`re coming for three points and if you get relegated - well that`s life!
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Steve Kean brings his side to this fixture unable to play Mame Biram Diouf as he is, off course, a United player.
Elsewhere, he expects to be able to include the fit again Phil Jones, David Dunn and Michel Salgado.
But, absent through injury are Grella, Nelsen and Rochina.
Player to watch: Christopher Samba
A powerful no-nonsense defender who is also capable of pushing up front to try and salvage a goal. A take no prisoners kind of player that every side should have.
Manchester United Team News:
With the title in the bag and with a Wembley date with Barcelona looming on the horizon in the Champions League Final, don`t be too surprised if Sir Alex Ferguson shuffles his pack this Saturday lunchtime.
The wily old Scot will be only too aware that any dreams of a unique double could be hampered by injuries to key personnel, even more so with Blackburn scrapping for their Premier League lives.
Therefore don`t be too surprised if there`s no Van der Sar, no Ferdinand, no Vidic, no Evra, no Giggs, no Rooney and no Hernandez.
There could be rare starts for Kuszczak, Smalling, Evans, Gibson and Owen.
As for injuries, Evra missed the last game and we don`t reckon he`ll be risked this tie out whilst Hargreaves seems forever destined to be on the treatment table.
Another on the treatment table is John O`Shea, who picked up a knock against Chelsea.
Player to watch: Darren Fletcher
We`re taking a gamble here and we reckon Sir Alex Ferguson will give Darren some kind of run out in the second half. It may only be fifteen minutes or so but it`ll be sufficient tie to see just how far from being fully match-fit Darren is as the Champions League Final approaches.
Match Facts & Stats
Going to Ewood Park needing a point to stay up, the record books show that we`re in a good position having not lost in our last 10 games , winning 8 and drawing 2
The corresponding fixture at Old Trafford this season, saw Blackburn thumped 7-1.
Blackburn`s home form is poor with the side registering only 1 hoe win in the last 6 fixtures.
The man in charge of this fixture is Phil Dowd
Even with a starting eleven containing several fringe squad players we should be too strong for a Blackburn team that have struggled all season, I`m taking United to win 2-0 on a comfortable afternoon that should herald all sorts of celebrations as we rack up top-flight title number nineteen.
Our season has but two more matches to be played before it comes to an end. Next weekend we host Blackpool in the final Premier League game of the season and then there`s the small matter of taking on Barcelona on Saturday 28th May for the greatest prize in domestic football