Stoke make the trip to Blackburn for this year’s Boxing Day fixture looking to make amends for the disappointment of losing to Blackpool two weeks ago and seeing the match at Arsenal postponed last week. In the Allardyce era, we’d have gladly taken a point before any match at Ewood Park, but now the Potters will be hoping to capitalise on any possible wobble that the change in the Rovers’ management structure may throw up.
No doubt TP will have considered the managerial switch at Rovers in his pre-match build-up, but he’d be unlikely to concentrate on that with the players as he knows that it’ll be how we play that could determine the outcome of the game: ‘We are not concerned with the effect that Sam’s departure has had on Blackburn, we have to concentrate on areas of the game that we can affect. That means producing a performance that, fingers crossed, will get us a result at Ewood Park.’
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Captain Chris Samba is a doubt with an ankle knock even though he’s said he would like to leave in the wake of Big Sam’s departure, while Jason Roberts has definitely been ruled out with hamstring problems.
Player to watch: Mame Diouf
Not to be confused with the other Diouf (El Hadji – the Rovers’ player everyone else loves to hate) the Senegalese striker has scored five goals this season in all competitions since arrived from Old Trafford on a season long loan.
Stoke City Team News:
The enforced two week break has given TP time to get all those injury niggles sorted and has a full squad to choose from.
Player to watch: Asmir Begovic
Asmir has fully earned his recent regular first team slot in goal which should have finally settled any thoughts of a move away from the Brit in the January transfer window.
Match Facts & Stats
Tuesday 27th December: Fulham (home) kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 1st January: Everton (home) kick-off: 3pm