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Monday, 02 April 2012

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United: Can Rovers do the double over United?


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Martin O'Neill did his chances of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the future no harm at all by taking a crucial point off Manchester City at the weekend, but can Manchester United take full advantage of that by beating the team that ruined Fergie's 70th birthday in December?

Blackburn Rovers stunned the football world when they turned over the Champions at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve. United were expected to run up a cricket score against the Premier League strugglers but a brace from Yakubu and a winner from Grant Hanley sealed an amazing victory for the visitors. With Blackburn on form as of late, can they record their first double over United for six years?

United have won their past six games on the spin and haven't lost a league game since Newcastle thrashed them at St James' Park in January. They have piled the pressure on City and Roberto Mancini's men have crumbled. United start the day two points clear of their noisy neighbours but can they extend that to five or will Blackburn be the hungrier of the two sides, knowing that defeat will send them back to the bottom three?

The visitors haven't conceded a goal in their past three outings but Blackburn have scored in all but three league games since Bonfire Night. Meetings between these two always evoke memories of those great conflicts in the mid-90s when Rovers beat United to the title. While Blackburn are nowhere near being title contenders, Steve Kean has the opportunity to put clear distance between themselves and the bottom three and melt the hearts of his fiercest opponent in the process.

United are in the swing of things and know exactly what it takes to win the title, but Blackburn are desperate to stay in the top flight. With QPR, Bolton and Wigan winning at the weekend, Kean has to get something out of this game. Unfortunately, the smart money is on an away win.

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United; Kick Off 8pm April 2 2012

Prediction Panel

Arsenal

Don McMahon

1

V

0

Aston Villa

Frank Pattison

0

V

2

Blackburn

Terry Kennedy

1

V

1

Bolton

Dave Blackburn

1

V

2

Chelsea

Joe Tyler

0

V

3

Everton

Chris Goodwin

0

V

4

Fulham

Neil Springate

0

V

2

Liverpool

Mark Williams

2

V

1

Man City

Callum Rothwell

1

V

2

Man Utd

Peter Lee

0

V

2

Newcastle

Michael Stout

0

V

3

Norwich City

Sue Read

1

V

4

QPR

Arjun Swaminathan    

1

V

3

Stoke City

Philip Eccleston

1

V

2

Sunderland

Tony Ratton

TBA

V

TBA

Tottenham

Mike Richards

2

V

0

Swansea

Jim White

1

V

2

West Brom

Andy Wakeman

1

V

2

Wigan

Alan Moore

0

V

5

Wolves

Chris Cox

0

V

3

 

 

 

 

 

OUR EXPERTS

 

 

 

 

Writer

Colin Illingworth

2

V

1

Writer

Steve Coulter

1

V

3

Writer

Phil Bundy

0

V

2

Writer

Mitch Waddon

1

V

1

Writer

Matt Turner

TBA    

V    

TBA

Writer

Chris Pettitt

2

V

1

Writer

Hugh Larkin

0

V

2

Aston Villa fan

Lynette Ranson

TBA

V

TBA

Blackpool fan

Phil Trow

1

V

4

Boro fan

Sue Gardener

0

V

5

Fulham fan

Russell Goldman

1

V

3

Pompey fan

Dan Taylor

1

V

2

Pompey fan

Peter Rendle

0

V

3

West Ham fan

Matthew Beeby

1

V

3

West Ham fan

Nigel Telfer

0

V

1

Editor

Antony Melvin

TBA

V

TBA

Panel Verdict

United are backed for the win.

Home: 5; Draw: 2; Away: 25. TBA 4

* Do we have it right or do you know better? We’d love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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