Friday, August 13, 2010

Europa League Hopefuls (Blackburn Rovers)

He is not everyone's cup of tea, and I may be biased given how well he did at Bolton, but I think Sam Allardyce is a hell of a manager. He has his typical squad of hardworking veterans at Ewood Park, and I think another overachieving top ten finish is in the cards. The biggest challenge will be scoring goals, as Nikola Kalinic and new loan signing Mame Biram Diouf are an unproven strike partnership to say the least.

Blackburn's schedule is a bit unfavorable, as they play Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Chelsea in their first ten matches. The defense is solid, but aging, and vulnerable to pace, especially through the middle of the park.

Several players in the Blackburn midfield would be big names if they played at other, more fashionable clubs, but they toil in anonymity in the northwest. These players, such as Christopher Samba, David Dunn, Vince Grella, and Steven Nzonzi, have to continue to perform at an extremely high level for Blackburn to be successful. If they manage to do that, 10th place. If not, 15th, or worse.

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