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Match Previews

PREVIEW: BLACKBURN ROVERS

17 April 2014

Ben Barrett looks ahead to the trip to Blackburn Rovers

Yeovil Town are back in SkyBet Championship action this coming Good Friday as the Glovers travel to Blackburn Rovers for a 3.pm kick off.

Yeovil slipped back to bottom of the table in midweek, but other results have ensured that mission survival is as close as ever.

Charlton lie just above the drop zone, just four points above Yeovil – with 12 points still to play for even Birmingham in 18th (43 points) won’t consider themselves safe just yet.

The requirements for Yeovil are clear, with four games to go, Gary Johnson is targeting a minimum of three wins and to avoid mounting pressure it would be a great start to tick off the first one this coming Friday.

However, this game is no dead rubber for Rovers either, currently lying in tenth, they sit just four points off the play offs.

With the three teams above them all on 64 points, a chance to close that gap to just one point might give their supporters belief that they can still make the end of season showdown.

Last Saturday, as Yeovil were drawing against Bournemouth, Rovers were also denied by a late equaliser. A 3-3 draw between themselves and Sheffield Wednesday saw the Owls equalise three times including finally in the dying minutes.

Prior to that, the Lancashire side haven’t suffered a defeat since mid-March and a 1-0 loss to Bournemouth.

Since then their record includes 3 wins and five draws including two other six goal stalemates.

The Glovers will need to be wary of one key attacker; Jordan Rhodes has scored over three times that of any other Rovers’ striker this season. The Scottish international is already past 20 goals this season with Rudy Gestede back in single figures.

However, Yeovil will be looking to a number of key players themselves as the experience of James Hayter and the good recent form of Kieffer Moore will hopefully be the catalyst for more attacking success.

One new option to manager Gary Johnson is the return of Sam Foley from his loan spell at Shrewsbury. Foley has spent the last couple of months with the Shrews in League One but has been recalled as with three vital games in a week, everyone was needed to strengthen a squad small on numbers.

Gary Johnson has said this week that there are a couple members of the squad who are nursing knocks, but wouldn’t reveal anything until more tests and recovery sessions had taken place. Gary Bower, the Rovers’ boss is also sweating on good news from the physio department.

Full back Adam Henley is out for the season with Dickson Etuhu and Ben Marshall while David Dunn and Corry Evans are rated as ‘touch and go’ having returned to training this week.

When the two sides met earlier in the campaign, Rovers came out on top in a closely fought game at Huish Park.

Rhodes was the difference, his single strike, half way through the second half was enough to take all three points back up the motorway.

That has been the only meeting of any note between the sides, this is the Glovers first trip to Ewood Park.

Tickets for the game are only available from Huish Park up until midday on Thursday, if you’re reading this after that point; tickets are available from the ground on match day itself.

There are a number of other Championship matches dotted about this Easter weekend, so it might not be the easiest to keep on top of everything that is going on, but with most sides playing three times within seven or eight days, it will more than likely be a defining week in the end of season run in.

Yeovil’s rivals at the bottom of the table all have busy schedules.

Charlton host Bolton on Friday before travelling to Sheffield Wednesday on Monday, Barnsley don’t play until Saturday when they play Leeds they then have a quick turnaround to travel to Derby on Monday.

Millwall also play on Saturday, away at Middlebrough, before hosting Doncaster in a crunch clash on Monday.

Blackpool are spanning the length of the country for their two games, playing Burnley then travelling to Brighton for their Monday class.
Finally Birmingham travel to Nottingham Forest this Saturday before facing Blackburn on Monday.

Got all that?
 
The permutations at the bottom end of the table are that vast in numbers that it’ll give us a headache working them all out, so it’s better to concentrate on Yeovil, as they travel to the former Premier League champions with one task, to take three points and put the pressure on everyone else.

If you’re not making the trip north, fear not, Glovers Player will have the full game live and social networks will have all the reaction as soon as it’s available.

A reminder too, that Monday’s home game against Huddersfield is designated as a ‘kids for a quid’ fixture and could prove to be vital in the Glovers’ attempt at Championship survival.

Call the office, pop to Huish Park in person or use the online ticketing function on YTFC.net

Famous Blackburn Fans.
Dr Who actor Matt Smith, Comedians Jim Bowen and Lee Mack, Snooker player Steve Hendry and Prince Albert of Monaco.

A foot in both camps.
Leon Best, Josh Morris, Cameron Stewart and current Glovers' player/coach Gareth Stewart started his career at Blackburn without making a first team appearance.

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