Rovers are just 90 minutes away from a place in the UEFA Cup proper as Finnish side MyPa travel to Ewood Park looking to provide a chock and overturn Rovers’ 1-0 First leg lead. Rovers will be virtual overwhelming favourites to complete the job from the First leg, as Roque Santa Cruz scored the deceive goal early on in Finland.
Most people will expect Rovers to win this comfortably, and the chances are they will but to write off the Finnish outfit who have year in year out European experience could be foolish, and shows a complete lack of respect.
Mark Hughes on complacency”: “We cannot afford to be complacent – it is only one goal and it only takes one opportunity to get back on level terms.
“So we have got to be professional and get the job done.
“The Uefa Cup is a competition we want to do well in. We’ll go into the game with the right team and mentality.”
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Rovers will have a near strength squad to select from, ideally Mark Hughes would have liked to rest some players, but with such a slender lead no chances can be taken. Ryan Nelsen returns after a domestic suspension and Tugay is pushing for a starting place.
Rovers from – Friedel, Enckelman, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Ooijer, Warnock, Bentley, Dunn, Savage, Pedersen, Santa Cruz, McCarthy, Derbyshire, Roberts, Tugay, Mokoena, Rigters, Khizanishvili, Gallagher.
Player to watch: Roque Santa Cruz
The Paraguayan International has started like a man possessed proving any doubters well and truly wrong and in theory he can only get better. He will no doubt be looking for more goals, and I think he will get them.
MyPa-47 Team News:
As my colleague roversman found when previewing the First leg, finding team news on MyPa is proving mighty difficult, so I am unable to produce any.
Player to watch: Janne Korhonen
The MyPa Goalkeeper did what he had to in the First leg well to keep Rovers at bay, and you would expect him to be a busy man at Ewood Park on Thursday, so he will have to be at his very best.
Match Facts & Stats
Rovers are unbeaten in 12 matches stretching back to last season, so they will be hoping to make it a lucky 13th.
Rovers should have too much for MyPa, but overconfidence can often lead to a slip up, but this will not happen in this match.
Depending on how much Rovers want the match (and they will want it bad because the UEFA Cup proper awaits) they could win comfortably, and they quite possibly will, I would go for a 3-0, maybe 4-0 victory. But the main thing is to ensure that they get through this game with no injuries.
Manchester City at Ewood Park on Sunday.