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Stuart Dalgleish 22nd Jan 2011 - 22:41

Can Santa make a late delivery?

Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion preview - Premier League, 16:00 - live on Sky Sports 1

Blackburn (6/5) will be looking to move to the heady heights of seventh in the Premier League table when they take on West Brom (23/10, the draw 9/4) in the tea-time kick-off at Ewood Park.

Their cause has been helped by the return of huge fans favourite Roque Santa Cruz (5/1 first goal), the Paraguayan arriving on loan from Man City for the rest of the season.

He was a huge success in his first spell at Rovers, scoring 23 goals in his first season in English football, he couldn't quite follow that up second time around, managing just six goals from 27 games but it was enough to earn him a move to moneybags Man City.

The six-foot striker was in and out of the side in his first season and could only muster three goals, and this season he's featured just twice, so it made perfect sense for all considered for this loan move across Lancashire to Blackburn.

While he might not have had loads of game time, he still knows the way to the back of the net, and if you think he can make an instant impact on his return, then we've got a great offer for you - we've enhanced the price on Santa Cruz to score and Blackburn to win to a fantastic looking 5/2 for our latest Match Winner Offer, it looks a great shout when you consider West Brom's recent woes.

Roberto Di Matteo was getting rave reviews for his sides start to the campaign, the Baggies were playing great football, troubling the big boys by getting points at Arsenal and Man Utd and talk was of a possible place in Europe.

The Midlands outfit just haven't been able to recreate that form over the last couple of months though, and now the much more familiar goal of trying to stay in the division is the target for perennial yo-yo side Albion for the rest of the season.

I think they probably will stay up, but it won't be easy and they really need to address this slide down the table, and the bout of travel sickness that they've picked up recently.

The Baggies have lost their last five matches away from home, and have won just once from their last nine road trips in all competitions, with their Midlands rivals Villa and Birmingham both bringing in some great signings in the January window, they might be in danger of getting left behind in the fight to stay up if they can't start to pick up points with more regularity.

I'm not convinced they'll be picking up points from this visit to Lancashire either as history is against them in this fixture.

West Brom have won just one of their nine Premier League encounters with Blackburn, and already lost 3-1 at the Hawthorns just last month (16/1 for a repeat result, 22/1 for a 3-1 away win). Interestingly though, Rovers have had a player dismissed in the last three league clashes with Albion, so the 15/4 for there to be a red shown in this match could be worth a punt.

With the visitors not keeping a clean sheet in 20 league games, and Blackburn not shutting out their opponents since the start of December, you'd have to favour 'yes' in the both teams to score market at 8/13.

I don't think Steve Kean's team will run riot, so a conservative selection of 2-1 at 8/1 would be where I'd be looking in the correct score market, Peter Odemwingie (13/2 first goal) the most likely candidate to notch for Di Matteo's men (15/8 to score anytime).

 

 
 
 

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