This is a HUGE week for Rovers, Arsenal tonight and victory would take us into the Semi Finals of the Carling Cup and bring some real Christmas cheer to Ewood Park, and then Chelsea on Saturday, not quite make or break but a crucial week in our season!!!
Mark Hughes on who he will select:
“We are looking to win the game, it is really important. Unfortunately, at the weekend we were down to 10 men for a large period of the game so that will have taken its toll on us and we have to be mindful of that.
“But, as ever, I am looking to play the team that I feel will win the game..”
Arsene Wenger on the Carling Cup and his selection policy:
“The Carling Cup is more of a squad game, because we decided as a squad to go for every single trophy.
“Many players that didn’t play against Chelsea will play at Blackburn on Tuesday night..”
Roque Santa Cruz on the importance of the match:
“It is a huge game for everyone because we want to have the chance to win a cup, so the Carling Cup and the FA Cup are tournaments where we want to do our best.
“We must do anything we can to get to the final.”
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Brett Emerton starts his suspension after his sending off against Wigan Athletic on Saturday, and Andre Ooijer’s injury keeps him out (and will do for several weeks) but Sparky is likely to name a VERY strong side. Keith Tracey also misses out through suspension, having been sent off in a recent reserve match.
With Emerton and Ooijer out Rovers could hand a debut to Northern Irish youngster Tony Kane.
Blackburn (from): Friedel, Nelsen, Samba, Warnock, Tugay, Mokoena, Reid, Bentley, Dunn, Pedersen, Santa Cruz, McCarthy, Roberts, Brown, Savage, Berner, Derbyshire, Khizanishvili, Kane.
Player to watch: David Bentley
Bentley’s stock is rising all the time, so against his old side it has to be Bents doesn’t it.
Arsenal know what he can do, but he would love to do this again this evening to help us into the Semi Final at the expense of his old club.
Arsenal Team News:
Emanuel Eboue suffered a knee ligament injury against Chelsea on Sunday so he will be out for some time, Lassana Diarra has asked to leave Arsenal (already) so he might not feature.
Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby, Denilson, Armand Traore and Lukasz Fabianski will all come in as will several other top quality Arsenal youngsters as Arsene Wenger will be sticking to his current selection policy.
Player to watch: Take your pick!
Arsenal have soooo many superb footballers don’t they, be it the young gunners or the more experienced players that could also play a part. So who do you single out?!?!
Match Facts & Stats
Both clubs entered the Carling Cup in the Third Round due to European commitments, Rovers saw off Birmingham City 3-0 at Ewood Park, Arsenal beat Newcastle United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
The Fourth Round saw Rovers beat Portsmouth 2-1 at Fratton Park and Arsenal beat Sheffield United 3-0 at Bramall Lane, this sets us up for this Quarter Final tie.
Mr Mike Riley.
Rovers are on a poor run of form, the early season fluency that we were seeing has deserted us in recent weeks and the defence that has been so well organised has crumbled and succumbed to terrible individual and collective errors recently. If we give Arsenal this kind of opportunity they will rip us apart quite literally.
This is such a tough match to call, the quality that Arsenal have is unbelievable and so many of their “kids” would get into most other sides, the vast majority do play a part in the senior squad anyway but Rovers have the experience, but this might count for nothing. Tiredness could play a part, and Arsenal will be fresher than us.
If ANYONE thinks that either side will walk this then they would be wrong wouldn’t they?!?! I think it could be a long night, but we are in for a superb match that Rovers will just edge as the hunger for success in this competition (and a place in Europe next season) will see us through.
Just the small matter of Chelsea coming to Ewood Park on Saturday.