Friday, 27 February 2015

Why can't Blackburn convert cup form to the league?

Gary Bowyer must be wondering what he has to do to get his side playing as well in the league as they are doing in the FA Cup. I am sure the Blackburn fans want to go as far as they can in the cup, but sitting in 10th in the league means they have lots of work to do if they are to challenge for a play-off place now. 

Even a gap of 15 points can be cut back and last season Blackburn Rovers put in a good run towards the end of the season, but it would be a major shock if they do that again, especially as their recent away form has not been encouraging. They have not won away in the league since beating Nottingham Forest at the end of October. It's a different story when they play at home and in the FA Cup, but that is not going to get them a play-off spot.
Hopefully Rovers won't bring their cup form to Dean Court.
If Blackburn are to challenge they have to beat the top sides and they had the perfect opportunity to start that in midweek when they met Norwich City, but they lost the game. AFCB will be another game where they will need to try and take points off a team that is above them. They'll need Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes to keep putting away their chances, but it has been the two strikers who have kept Rovers from falling further behind in the race for a top six finish. Some other Blackburn players are going to have to start finding the net if they are to really push on now.

A few injuries to Ben Marshall, Chris Taylor and Corry Evans have not been helpful, but everyone is getting injuries to their team. One player that will be keen to get game time is Tommy Spurr who only made his first start of the season against Blackpool last weekend, but he did not feature against Norwich in mid-week.

The cup run could be taking more out of Rovers than is good for them of course. With Jay Spearing, Tom Cairney and Grant Hanley in their side there is plenty of fight and experience, but succeeding in cup and league campaigns is going to be very demanding for them. In some ways the match they face against AFCB will be a good prelude to the Liverpool cup match. Their players will be playing for their shirt in that game so the Cherries should be aware that Rovers are going to be doing everything to improve their away record, because they can't afford to lose any more ground on the top six in the Championship.

It seems that set-pieces have been causing them problems of late and perhaps the Cherries can cause them problems with their corners. But beating Rovers will be a difficult task and AFCB must make the most of home advantage, which they couldn't do against Derby and Huddersfield.

Send in more score predictions for the match and I'll post them up on Cherry Chimes.

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