With both Blackburn and Aston Villa holding hugely successful histories in the Premier League, it is strange to see both struggling amongst the bottom few places of the division now. It would be fair to say that both clubs are in almost identical positions, with both sets of supporters completely against their own managers as Steve Kean and Alex McLeish continue to come under pressure.
The situation that Kean finds himself in can be highlighted through the events that have been planned for Saturday, with several supporters groups claiming that the biggest demonstration in the club’s history will be made in a bid for Kean to be removed from his position. With Rovers struggling down at the bottom for the majority of the campaign, it appears unlikely for their managerial situation to change any time soon and their supporters will probably have to accept the fact that Kean is going to be in charge until at least the end of the season. It is worth mentioning that despite the criticism aimed at Kean, Rovers still have a chance of remaining in the division. They are only in the relegation zone due to goal difference, although their fans may have reason to be concerned about recent form which has seen them win just one of their last five. Still, with the club winning two of their last three games at Ewood Park, there is at least some reason to carry slight optimism into the clash.
While Aston Villa may be placed in a lowly 15th, it looks as though Villa are just about safe of relegation as eight points separate them from the drop zone. Just like their opponents, Villa approach this game with some awful form behind them having won just one of their last seven games. With Alex McLeish constantly having to suffer criticism from supporters at home games, it may come as no surprise to see that Villa have a much better record away from home. The Midlands outfit have won three of their last six on the road, which could give their supporters a little confidence ahead of the trip north.
Blackburn have mixed news ahead of this game, with Steve Kean first boosted following the return to fitness of David Dunn. However, suspension will prevent Gael Givet and Jason Lowe from featuring, while Martin Olsson looks set to miss out with a knee problem. It’s a similar story for Aston Villa, who firstly welcome back Stiliyan Petrov, James Collins and Alan Hutton following spells on the side lines. However, Alex McLeish has some major problems in the forwards department, with Darren Bent out injured for the foreseeable future and Robbie Keane now back in the United States following the expiry of his loan deal.
As for a prediction, we see Aston Villa clinching the points in this outing. Alex McLeish’s side have shown signs of promise on the road over recent weeks, while Blackburn will have a lot of pressure on their shoulders as they prepare to play in front of their own fans. Bearing this in mind, we’ll tip a 2-1 victory for the Villa Park outfit.