Blackburn recorded one of their best results in recent history last weekend with the 1-0 FA Cup win against Arsenal at the Emirates. Much has been made of Arsenal’s part in the match with the inevitable criticism of Arsene Wenger and his players but it should not be forgotten how well the visitors played. They were resolute and determined throughout and that formed the platform which allowed them to go on and win the game in the second half. It’s another string added to the bow of Michael Appleton who has made a noticeable difference since taking charge earlier this year. Many people were surprised he left Blackpool to take over at a club who have seemingly been in turmoil for the last couple of years but he is certainly going in the right direction to prove those doubters completely wrong.
Neil Warnock has been the subject of criticism, and at times abuse, from the Leeds United supporters in recent weeks who believe that he is not getting the best out of the squad of players at his disposal. It seems a little odd as they have defeated several notable top flight sides in their progress to the Quarter Finals of the League Cup and fifth round of the FA Cup whilst only being half a dozen points off sixth placed. Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Blackpool was their first league success in four and performances have dipped of late but it seems an awfully excessive reaction from the supporter calling for him to be sacked. If they do wish to be promoted, or challenge for the play-offs at least, they will need to improve their form on the road as they have won only three away games from the 16 they have played.
A home win on Saturday would see Blackburn climb above their opponents and put them right in contention for the top six. After starting the season brightly under Steve Kean the expectation of a return to the Premier League was high but form dipped and it progressively got worse under Henning Berg which is why Rovers fans will be delighted with their recent upturn in performances, and more importantly, results.
With just those three away wins, its little surprise to ready that Leeds have the second worst wins total on the road in the Championship. It makes it astonishing that they remain relatively well placed for a top six finish but I would be extremely surprised if they continue to climb the table without improving their fortunes away from home.
It will be interesting to see if Blackburn can follow up last weekend’s excellent victory with a success at Ewood Park tomorrow but you have to believe that it’s a must win game if they do want to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Taking into account Leeds’ poor away form I think Blackburn can get the better of them.
Blackburn 23/20 @ BetVictor