Up until late this week, both of these clubs were in a state of limbo as neither had a permanent manager in place. Blackburn have now resolved this issue following the appointment of Henning Berg, yet the former Manchester United defender certainly won’t have it easy as he takes his team to face a Crystal Palace outfit who are flying high in 4th.
Considering the fact that Crystal Palace have little money to spend and were viewed as potential relegation candidates by many, it is simply amazing to see the Eagles knocking on the door of the automatic promotion places. At the time of writing, the Selhurst Park outfit find themselves just one point behind 2nd place Leicester, after amassing a total of twenty four points. Of course, it is going to be very interesting to see if they can sustain such form, after Dougie Freedman’s departure to Bolton last week means they are currently without a manager. Several respectable names have been linked with the vacancy, but whether or not any can have quite the effect that Freedman had is another matter.
Blackburn meanwhile were tipped as huge candidates for promotion and some fans will be quite disappointed that they sit one place below their opponents in 5th spot. However, following weeks of turmoil after the exit of Steve Kean, Rovers are at least bringing some stability to the club after appointing Henning Berg as his successor during the week. Berg is a big legend at Ewood Park after helping the club win the Premiership title back in the 90s, but some are not sure if he has what it takes to mastermind a promotion push. Recent form is sure to help him though, with Blackburn managing to pick up seven points out of a possible nine. With six of those arriving at home, it might be a little more challenging in this away encounter though.
As for team news, Crystal Palace approach this game with a problem at the back as Paddy McCarthy still hasn’t recovered from the groin issue that has kept him out in recent weeks. On a more positive note, Jonathan Williams should return after recovering from a groin injury. Blackburn also have their problems, with David Dunn, Jason Lowe and Fabio Nunes all on the treatment table. However, it’s not all negative for Henning Berg, with the likes of Simon Vukcevic, Gael Givet and Markus Olsson all in contention for a starting spot.
There is no doubt that Crystal Palace have started this season in grand fashion, but we don’t think they will be able to net all the points in this encounter. Not only have the Eagles lost Freedman, but his assistant Lennie Lawrence has followed him this week and that could have a hugely detrimental effect on the team. With Blackburn now under new management, our tip will therefore be a 2-1 win for the visitors.