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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Blackburn v Spurs - 23.10.11

Blackburn 0 Spurs 1 (2nd February, 2011)
This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 9 2010-11

See the current injury list for all Premiership Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full Record of Spurs -v- Blackburn Rovers

Prem         Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home         17   9   3   5   25- 22  30
Away         17   7   4   6   19- 14  25
=========================================
Total(Prem)  34  16   7  11   44- 36  55
=========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)  24  16   4   4   63- 30  36
Away(Div 1)  24   5   5  14   23- 50  15
=========================================
Total(Div 1) 48  21   9  18   86- 80  51
=========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)   6   5   0   1   22-  8  10
Away(Div 2)   6   2   2   2    9-  7   6
=========================================
Total(Div 2) 12   7   2   3   31- 15  16
=========================================
Total(Prem)  34  16   7  11   44- 36  55
Total(Div 1) 48  21   9  18   86- 80  51
Total(Div 2) 12   7   2   3   31- 15  16
=========================================
Grand Total  94  44  18  32  161-131  122
=========================================

Last Six Premiership results:-

Blackburn

Blackburn  0-1   Everton
Fulham     1-1   Blackburn
Blackburn  4-3   Arsenal
Newcastle  3-1   Blackburn
Blackburn  0-4   Man City
QPR        1-1   Blackburn

Spurs

Spurs      1-5   Man City
Wolves     0-2   Spurs
Spurs      4-0   Liverpool
Wigan      1-2   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   Arsenal
Newcastle  2-2   Spurs

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 6 Spurs      7  4  1  2  13-12   1  13
19 Blackburn  8  1  2  5   9-18  -9   5

Never under-estimate an underdog

Spurs know better than most teams never to under-estimate an underdog, due to their consistent poor record against teams that would ultimately be relegated, or those in the midst of a relegation battle. Last season we lost 12 points against the three relegated teams (West Ham, Blackpool and Birmingham), and the year before we lost 7, with quite a few more points dropped to teams that were in the mix. Although we achieved a league double over Blackburn in the last two seasons, Harry Redknapp knows he faces a fight tomorrow.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean has had the home fans on his back most of the season, but had his best moment of the season in the midst of a fans' protest, when his team got their only league win of the season over Arsenal. Spurs fans loved that 4-3 win, especially as it put the gooners in the bottom four and their defeat came on the week-end we hammered Liverpool 4-0.

Rovers haven't managed another win though, and their only other points have come away from home at Fulham and QPR. Their last home match was a 4-0 home defeat by Manchester City. The fact that the fans do have a Carling Cup fourth round match to look forward to this week will come as little compensation, especially if Spurs continue their winning run against Rovers.

Spurs also know what it is like to travel to Ewood Park in adversity. In February 1998, they were in the midst of their own relegation dog-fight, in 18th place. Blackburn, who had won the Premiership title three years previously, were still a high-flying third placed team with the likes of the free scoring Chris Sutton in their side along with Tim Sherwood to name just one other team-member. Sherwood would come to Spurs two years later, and is enjoying success at present in charge of our Development squad.

The favourites to win that game were undone by a dramatic and convincing 3-0 victory for Spurs who won 3-0 with goals by Berti, Armstrong and Fox. Spurs had even gone into that game without Jurgen Klinsmann, who had been famously re-signed at Christmas-time, and was to play a massive part in Spurs' survival, even if 4 of his 9 goals did come in that one fantastic game at Selhurst Park, when we beat Wimbledone 6-2. As a result of that win at Blackburn, Spurs went up to 17th, but their safety was not assured till the penultimate week of the season, and that win against Wimbledon.

Spurs have of course managed to preserve most of their fit key players for this game, having played mostly fringe players on Thursday night in the Europa League. Choices are limited though at centre-back, where Kaboul and Bassong appear to be the only fit contenders. Gareth Bale might have been relishing a battle with Rovers' right back Salgado, who has had very difficult times in previous encounters, but Salgado is injured too, and Jason Lowe is set to deputise. The confrontation between Adebayor and Samba will be interesting - at both ends of the pitch, I suspect. Samba was rumoured to be a Spurs target in the summer, and has been a thorn in oursides, such as when he scored a late, late winner at White Hart Lane in October, 2007 (Spurs 1 Blackburn 2 - 28th October, 2007).

Both Lennon and Sandro are thought to be available for this one. Spurs have all the options they need with regard to attack, and maybe Van der Vaart will start in favour of Defoe, who will surely make an appearance off the bench at least.

There will be a fond reception for both goalkeepers from both sets of fans. Brad Friedel played 288 Premier League games for Blackburn, whilst Paul Robinson made 137 such appearances for Spurs, and has now made 114 appearances for Blackburn. Both these keepers have scored a Premier League goal too!

Despite all the forbodings, Spurs have to be clear favourites for this game, and I'm going for a 2-1 win.

The referee will be Stuart Atwell, who we last saw in April, when we drew 2-2 at home to West Bromwich Albion. I believe that former Spur John Duncan is the Premier League's "match delegate".

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