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Match Previews

Preview: Blackburn Rovers

2 November 2012

Henning Berg takes charge of Blackburn Rovers for the first time tomorrow after being appointed their new manager on Thursday. The Ewood legend returned to the club having been part of the side that won the Premier League back in 1994/95 and the League Cup in 2002 but has been out of management for over a year following his dismissal as Lillestrom manager back in October 2011.

He inherits a Rovers side sitting just a place below Palace in the Championship table after the beat Watford last Saturday thanks to a last minute strike from £8 million signing Jordan Rhodes, who has notched five goals since arriving from Huddersfield in August.

The Lancashire side are unbeaten on their travels so far this season but have only won one of their six away trips which came in the form of a 5-3 thriller against Bristol City in September. It will be he first meeting of the sides since Palace's last season in the Premier League back in 2004/05.

Crystal Palace: Darcy Blake and Jonny Williams have both sat out the recent trips to Barnsley and Leicester with knocks but both could feature on Saturday. Paddy McCarthy's groin problem means he is out long-term but he will take his place on the bench as part of the management team.

Blackburn Rovers: David Dunn missed the Watford game with a calf strain but is expected to be fit for tomorrow's game, as could Simon Vukcevic who has been troubled by a groin injury. Markus Olsson is back in training following a hamstring injury but the same issue will see winger Fabio Nunes miss out. Danny Murphy may in line for a return to the starting line-up having spent the last two games on the bench.

Referee: Lee Probert
Assistants: Jack Collin and Simon Beck
Fourth Official: Robert Madley

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD: (home and away)
Palace winsDrawsBlackburn wins
FA Cup000
League Cup000

The first league encounters between the two sides took place in the 1966/67 season in Division Two, following Blackburn’s relegation from the First Division. Saturday’s game will be the 21st season that we have met since, four have been in the Premier League and the remainder at this level.

Blackburn’s first visit to Selhurst Park came on New Year’s Eve 1966 when goals from Steve Kember and Cliff Jackson earned Palace a 2-1 victory. Overall Palace hold the upper hand at Selhurst, a fact emphasised on the last day of the season in 1978 when a David Swindlehurst hat-trick helped the Eagles to their best ever result against Rovers to the tune of 5-0. 

With the arrival of the Premier League in 1992, the opening game of that inaugural season was at Selhurst Park on 15th August and ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw as although Mark Bright opened the scoring, the Eagles had to settle for a point thanks to a last minute equaliser from Simon Osborn.    Palace’s last victory over Rovers at Selhurst came on 29th April 2000 when goals from Clinton Morrison and loanee Ashley Cole ensured another 2-1 success.

The clubs have never been drawn together in the major cup competitions but perhaps the most important and exciting fixture for Palace fans was the second leg of the Division Two Play-Off Final played here on 3rd June 1989 in front of 30,000 fans, the largest attendance for a fixture between the clubs. 

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Ian Wright netted after 16 minutes and then a minute into the second half a Dave Madden penalty brought the aggregate scores level with Palace holding a vital away goal advantage. With Perry Suckling pulling off a wonder save from Ian Miller it was left to Ian Wright, deep into extra-time, to head home a third goal to put the result beyond doubt and send south London into a state of delight.

Blackburn’s last visit here was for a Premier League fixture on 11th December 2004 that ended in the only goalless draw between Palace and Rovers. An eminently forgettable game sparked into life two minutes from time when Sandor Torghelle fell somewhat easily in the Blackburn penalty area then squared up to the challenger Lucas Neill, sparking a brawl amongst the players which ended with Rovers substitute David Thompson being sent off for a second bookable offence having lashed out at Fitz Hall.

Category B prices apply for this game.

Main Stand 
Adults £30 
Senior Citizen & Student £20 
Under 18s  £15 

Lower Holmesdale 
Adults £22
Snr Citizen & Student £15 
Under 18s £15

Upper Holmesdale 
Adults £25 
Snr Citizen & Student £15
Under 18s £15

Adults £30
Snr Citizen & Student £20

Croydon Advertiser Stand & Block J Main Stand 
Adults £20
Snr Citizen & Student £15 
Under 18s £10 
Under 10s  £5

Arthur Wait Stand 
Adults £26 
Snr Citizen & Student £15
Under 18s £15 

Palace to win 17/10
Draw 5/2
Blackburn to win 15/8

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