Sam again please as Rovers return

SPURS have the perfect opportunity to put the pressure on their rivals this weekend – they are first up on Saturday, and they could not ask for a kinder fixture. Blackburn are far from the worst team in the division, and they currently sit 10 points clear

SPURS have the perfect opportunity to put the pressure on their rivals this weekend - they are first up on Saturday, and they could not ask for a kinder fixture.

Blackburn are far from the worst team in the division, and they currently sit 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

However, 28 of the 34 points that Sam Allardyce's side have amassed have come at home, and it is fair to say that Spurs did the hard part when they won 2-0 at Ewood Park in December - all that is needed now is a similarly committed performance on home turf.

Blackburn have won just one of their 14 Premier League fixtures on the road, drawing three and losing the other 10.

They have the fourth worst defensive record on the road, shipping 33 goals, and it is no better at the other end - the measly nine goals that Rovers have managed away from Ewood Park is also the fourth worst in the top flight.

This is as close to a home banker as you can get, and Rovers have been soundly beaten whenever they have visited the league's top sides.

Most Read

Allardyce's boys lost 3-0 at Everton, 6-2 at Arsenal, 5-0 at Chelsea, 3-0 at Fulham, 4-1 at Man City and even 3-0 at Stoke.

To make matters worse, they are operating with a patched-up defence after losing influential centre-back Ryan Nelsen and Denmark international right-back Lars Jacobsen.

That has forced Allardyce to deploy Gael Givet - a suspect full-back - in the middle alongside Chris Samba, and play 34-year-old ex-Real Madrid star Michel Salgado on the right.

The rearguard is completed by Spurs cast-offs, Pascal Chimbonda and goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

They will be protected by 21-year-old anchorman Steven N'Zonzi, a part of a five-man midfield which switches to 4-3-3 when Rovers are in possession.

Allardyce allowed Benni McCarthy to join West Ham in January and, although the manager has Jason Roberts at his disposal, he is likely to play Nikola Kalinic as a lone striker - the Croatian has netted seven goals in 26 appearances since a �6million move from Hajduk Split in August.

Kalinic will be supported on the flanks by attacking widemen El-Hadji Diouf and David Dunn, who is Rovers' leading goalscorer in the Premier League with... wait for it... five goals!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter