Premier League match time arrives at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea host Blackburn, in match week 23, on January 15.
This is the second meeting between the teams, this season; the first leg was hosted by Blackburn on October 30 and went 2-1 in the champions’ favour. The score-line doesn’t give a true indication of Rovers’ excellent showing on the day. Emerton and Miame Diouf gave great support to Benjani a stand out performer who put the home side ahead on 21 minutes. It can justly be said that Blackburn took the game to Chelsea, but in the end it was a tale of missed opportunities for Sam Allardyce’s squad, with Pederson wayward with his free-kicks.
Under the cosh in the first half, Chelsea made a better fist of it in the second, with Ivanovic, Zhirkov and Cole all standing up to be counted on a day Terry and Drogba looked off-colour.
Head to head, Chelsea have established a 12-2 lead over Blackburn in 20 league games played between the sides over the last decade.
Chelsea, who led the points table up to match week 15, appear to have come apart at the seams, in their last 10 games, winning just 2, while losing 4 and drawing the remainder. Those 4 defeats include a shock 1-0 loss at Molineux to Wolves in match week 22.
Blackburn have given a better account of themselves, by winning 4 while losing 5 and drawing 1 of their last 10 league games. They won their last game, at home against Liverpool, by a 3-1 margin.
Currently placed 5th in the table, Chelsea have won 7 of 10 games hosted by them while drawing 2, and losing just the one. Blackburn, in ninth place, have won just 3 of 11 games on the road, while losing 7 and drawing the remaining.
Though their current form appears impressive, Blackburn will find the going tough playing the champions away at Stamford Bridge. Ancelotti’s men will have a point or two to prove as they strive to catch up with Manchester United who have been moving farther adrift with every succeeding game. More importantly, Chelsea will try to prove their naysayers wrong, as the champions appear to have been written off as title contenders this season, by all but their most fanatic supporters.
Chelsea had the following men in their starting eleven against Wolves in match week 22: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Kalou, Drogba and Malouda. Kakuta, Sturridge and Anelka were used as substitutes.
Blackburn’s starting eleven against Liverpool in match week 22 comprised Bunn, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Hoillett, Dunn, Pederson, Olsson, Diouf, Mwaruwari. Goulon, Morris and Diouf were he substitutes who played in the game.
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