EPL 2011-12 Preview: Blackburn vs Chelsea

Blackburn will host Chelsea at Ewood Park, on matchday eleven of the Premier League, on Saturday, November 5, 2011.

Blackburn have just drawn 3-3 at Norwich on Matchday 10. The visitors drew first blood at half-time through Hoilett after an eventful first half that saw chances missed on both sides. Rovers seized the initiative early on and squandered some scoring chances by Formica and Yakubu.

The Canaries had their own missed chance when Morison hit the ball over the post after Tierney and Pilkington had gotten the hosts through on the left wing. However, Morison made amends by scoring an equalizer on 53 minutes, only for Yakubu to put the visitors ahead on 62 minutes and when Samba got Blackburn’s third goal two minutes later the game looked all but over. The Canaries had one foot in the door, with a goal from Johnson in the 82nd minute, and Holt converted a penalty in stoppage time to level the score 3–3.

On matchday 10, Chelsea faced Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Lampard, fueled by a brilliant cross from Mata, put the hosts ahead early, in the 14th minute. Van Persie regained equality with his team, with an equalizing goal in the 37th minute, when Ramsey found Gervinho on the run, and the The Ivory Coast striker took out Cech and squared off Van Persie, who only had to touch the ball into the unprotected net. But the hosts had the last laugh at half-time when captain Terry put them ahead 2-1.

The second half was chaos as Arsenal mounted a ferocious comeback led by Van Persie, who scored a hat-trick, and Chelsea fell 5-3, with Mata scoring his third goal in the 81st minute, a case of very little. , Too late

Head to head, Chelsea have established a 13-2 lead over Rovers, in the 20 league games between the teams. The last time they saw each other was in January 2011, with Chelsea winning 2-0, in the match organized by them.

After 10 games this season, Blackburn are currently in the relegation zone (18th place) in the Premier League points table, while Chelsea are in fourth place. In 5 home games Blackburn have won just one and lost 4; Chelsea have won 2 of 5 away games, losing 2 and drawing the rest. In their last 10 league games, Blackburn have only won one, lost 6 and drawn 3; Chelsea have won 6, lost 3 and drawn one of their last 10.

Chelsea are the bookmakers’ favorites to win, and will be keen to make amends after a dull draw against Belgian side Genk midweek in the Champions League.

Blackburn’s starting eleven against Norwich: Robinson, Lowe, Samba, Givet, Olsson, Rochina, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Formica, Yakubu

Chelsea’s starting eleven against Arsenal: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Mata, Sturridge, Torres