Saturday's big match preview

Blackburn Rovers v West Ham Saturday, August 29, 3pm Ewood Park THIS MAY be the perfect time for West Ham to travel to Ewood Park. Blackburn Rovers have lost their opening two Premier League games - 2-0 at home to Manchester City and 2-1 at Sunderland - a

Blackburn Rovers v West Ham

Saturday, August 29, 3pm

Ewood Park

THIS MAY be the perfect time for West Ham to travel to Ewood Park.


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Blackburn Rovers have lost their opening two Premier League games - 2-0 at home to Manchester City and 2-1 at Sunderland - and they have also been hit by injuries.

Having lost strikers Roque Santa Cruz to Eastlands and Matt Derbyshire to Olympiakos, Sam Allardyce's team have been further hampered by knocks to Benni McCarthy and loan signing Franco Di Santo, who both limped off at the Stadium of Light.

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Added to that, defender Ryan Nelsen is injured, while Stephen Warnock is set for a move to Villa Park this week, leaving Rovers decidedly short going into Saturday's game.

West Ham are also unbeaten in their last three visits to Ewood Park.

Mark Noble scored the goal that earned a 1-1 draw there in March, while previous to that, 1-0 and 2-1 victories meant the points were heading back down the M6.

Everything points to a West Ham victory on Saturday, which immediately makes me very wary of the match.

There is the Allardyce factor of course. He likes nothing more than to beat West Ham, and did so regularly in his days at Bolton Wanderers.

He took over from the prematurely sacked Paul Ince last December and did exactly what was asked of him, keeping Rovers in the Premier League, which he managed with a respectable 15th place.

In the summer he signed French pair Steven N'Zonzi from Amiens and Gael Givet from Marseille as well as Croatian Nikola Kalinic and Dane Lars Jacobsen, all of whom should play a part on Saturday.

El Hadji-Diouf will provide the nuisance value as usual, while Jason Roberts is a striker who has always done well against the Hammers, especially in his Wigan days, and he will certainly be the one to watch.

But with new signing Michel Salgado from Real Madrid not ready to play a part for Rovers, they look a little short all over the park, and if West Ham can play the way they did at Wolves on the opening day, then there is no reason why they can't take the points.

After last week's perfect prediction, let's hope I'm on a roll. I go for West Ham to come home from Lancashire with the win.

POSSIble team: Rob-inson, Jacobsen, Samba, Olsson, Givet, Andrews, N'Zonzi, Pedersen, Kalinic, Roberts, Diouf.

Prediction:

Blackburn 1 West Ham 2

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