Steve Kean will be looking to release the pressure at Ewood Park on Saturday when he takes on Andre Villas Boas’ Chelsea side that has its own crosses to bear as Skybet announce a flurry of free bets on the Blackburn manager leaving his post.
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Both sides have endured rough fortnights – and now will be looking for three therapeutic points to take into the international break and put their torrid times behind them.
Blackburn are without a win in the Premier League since September, a run which extends back five games to their shock 4-3 win over Arsenal, and with Kean’s men throwing away a 3-1 advantage against Norwich to draw the game 3-3, the Blackburn faithful will no doubt be getting on manager’s back once more if he can’t take any points from Saturday’s game.
Chelsea meanwhile have endured easily the worst fortnight under Villas Boas, recording two losses in the Premier League while only mustering a draw against Belgian outfit Genk, while the Portuguese boss was forced into a series of defensive press conferences over his sides distinctly average defending in the 5-3 defeat against Arsenal while also speaking for blues captain John Terry after he was accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Didier Drogba will miss the game because of the suspension he received following his red card against QPR as does Jose Bosingwa, while Fernando Torres is in line to lead the blues attack against a Blackburn defence that has been unable to keep a clean sheet in 13 matches.
Mikel will provide the Blues with a timely boost ahead of the game, with the Nigerian international expected to be declared fit having picked up a knock in mid-week, while Terry should return having been rested in the same game.
Michael Essien isn’t quite ready to make his return despite making excellent progress in his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury that was expected to keep him out for the remainder of the year, meaning Ramires and Raul Meireles will likely fight it out for a starting spot alongside Frank Lampard and Juan Mata in the centre of the park.