Search

West Ham: Struggling Blackburn are there for the taking

12:22 06 May 2011

Samba is a solid defender for Blackburn

Samba is a solid defender for Blackburn

Archant

Rovers struggling since Allardyce departure

With only one win since January, Blackburn are in freefall and are there for the taking at Upton Park.

Manager Steve Kean has struggled to fill the void left by the sacking of former incumbent Sam Allardyce and his position has been called into question for some time.

Goals have been hard to come by far for the Lancastrians and with defender Ryan Nelson out for the season due to a knee injury it is no wonder they have won just once in 11 matches.

After trying various combinations all over the pitch, Kean has settled with a 4-4-2 formation and has adopted for power up front in Benjani and Jason Roberts.

James Tomkins and Manuel da Costa are likely to be the Hammers centre backs and must be up for a physical challenge, especially from Roberts, a typical English target man, who although has only found the net three times this season, is the focal point of most of their attacks.

Roque Santa Cruz is another option for Kean and he is also someone who plays naturally as a target man.

Brett Emerton is likely to provide ammunition for the front two from out wide and his whipped deliveries from the right could cause problems.

However his lack of pace means he is unlikely to outrun likely left back Danny Gabbidon, so the Welshman should try to get tight to his opposite number and stop his crosses.

On the other flank Martin Olsson is naturally a full back and is another powerful player. He is stronger and quicker than Lars Jacobsen, but is not known for his crossing.

In the middle, Phil Jones is their biggest talent, but is more of a holding midfielder leaving David Dunn as their creative player, who if left to his own devices has the passing ability to hurt the Hammers.

The Rovers full backs Gael Givet and Michel Salgado although experienced lack pace, but unless Victor Obinna starts this weakness is unlikely to be capitalised on by the hosts.

Christopher Samba, one of the division’s more consistent and physically imposing centre halves will be up against Carlton Cole. The former Chelsea striker has had the physical edge over most opponents this season, but Samba is immensely strong himself and with Cole’s presence so important for West Ham, it makes this contest one of the most important of the day.

Neither side approach the match in good form and are struggling at both ends of the pitch, but the superior overall quality of West Ham should see them register the first of the three wins they need to secure Premier League survival.

Prediction: West Ham 3 Blackburn 1

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 22:41
Essex's Ashar Zaidi

Pakistan all-rounder Ashar Zaidi blazed an unbeaten half-century to strengthen Essex’s chances of joining Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

West Ham team for Europa League clash with NK Domzale

The Hammers looked rusty as they were beaten in the Europa League despite Mark Noble strike

Yesterday, 16:00
Clapton players (red and white) come to blows with their Welwyn Garden City rivals (claret and blue). Pic: TIM EDWARDS

Tons number two full of praise for Mile End Stadium boss Ade Abayomi ahead of first match of the new campaign

Yesterday, 14:00
Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir knocks the ball forward against Charlton Athletic. Pic: TIM REDER

Northern Irish midfielder impressed by ambition of the east Londoners and turned down League One teams to move to Brisbane Road

Wed, 16:00
South Woodford's Lewis Thompson and Hackney's Brielle Koulen have impressed for the University of East London in tennis. Pic: EWEN LAYCOCK

Lewis Thompson and Brielle Koulen have caught the eye playing tennis for the university recently

Wed, 13:00
Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Edwards (right) watches on at Dagenham & Redbridge alongside Andy Hessenthaler (centre) and Danny Webb. Pic: SIMON O'CONNOR

Experienced coach reflects on victory at Dagenham and how results in pre-season count for little in the end

Wed, 10:39
Leyton Orient manager Andy Hessenthaler (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Andy Hessenthaler’s team may have to make a trip to Brighton during the week, but will hope to play twice at Brisbane Road

Paul McCallum celebrates scoring for Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Pre-season friendly: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Leyton Orient 2

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now