Blackburn Rovers match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Blackburn Rovers
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 30 January
Referee: Peter Walton - Live text updates I WHUTV - ALL THE NEWS AND VIEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

• West Ham United play host to Sam Allardyce's Blackburn Rovers in their first home Barclays Premier League match of the new decade.

• Gianfranco Zola's side have enjoyed an unbeaten start to 2010 in the Premier League following away-day draws at Aston Villa and Portsmouth.

• The Hammers have enjoyed an excellent run of form against the Lancashire side, having not lost to them in five years. In that time they have won four and drawn two of the six matches they have contested. The Hammers have lost just once in their last 12 meetings with the Lancastrians.

• The two sides shared a goalless draw at Ewood Park in the reverse fixture on 29 August.

• It will be West Ham's first match at the Boleyn Ground since joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold acquired a 50 per cent stake in the club on 19 January.

• Tuesday's point at Fratton Park maintained West Ham's 16th place in the league standings and a win on Saturday could see them climb to 13th.

• This is the 94th league meeting between the two sides. Blackburn have won 42, West Ham have won 38 and there have been 13 draws.

Last time out

Portsmouth 1-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Tuesday 26 January

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins (da Costa 81), Upson, Spector, Diamanti (Stanislas 87), Kovac, Behrami, Noble, Collison, Nouble (Cole 73)
Subs not used: Stech, Daprela, Jimenez, Sears
Goal: Upson 52

Blackburn 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Barclays Premier League
Wednesday 27 January

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Chimbonda, Nelsen, Olsson, Givet, Emerton, 'Zonzi, Hoilett (Reid 54), Pedersen, Diouf (Di Santo 77), Kalinic (Roberts 78)
Subs not used: Salgado, Jones, Andrews, Brown
Goals: Pedersen 20, Kalinic 76

Last meeting

• The teams last met on 29 August when they shared a goalless draw at Ewood Park. The teams that day were -

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Jacobsen, Chimbonda, Samba, Givet, Dunn, Nzonzi (Hoilett 60), Grella, Andrews, Pedersen, Roberts (Kalinic 75)
Subs not used: Brown, Salgado, Emerton, Khizinashvili, Olsen

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Collins, Upson, Spector, Parker, Collison (Kovac 87), Noble, Jimenez (Dyer 66), Stanislas, Cole
Subs not used: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Tomkins, Nouble, Hines

Head to head

(League meeting unless stated)

29 August 2009 Blackburn Rovers 0-0 West Ham United
21 March 2009 Blackburn Rovers 1-1 West Ham United
30 August 2008 West Ham United 4-1 Blackburn Rovers
15 March 2008 West Ham United 2-1 Blackburn Rovers
9 December 2007 Blackburn Rovers 0-1 West Ham United
17 March 2007 Blackburn Rovers 1-2 West Ham United

Overall record v Blackburn Rovers (all competitions) W 41 D 18 L 45

Next up

West Ham United travel to Blackburn's Lancashire rivals Burnley for a Premier League game a week after Saturday's meeting. Rovers themselves have another away game at Stoke City the same day.


• Saturday's referee is Peter Walton.

• Walton, 50, began his refereeing career in 1986, before being appointed to the Football League List as an assistant referee in 1993. He joined the Premier League List of assistant referees in 1994.

• Walton was an assistant referee at the 1996 FA Cup final between Manchester United and Liverpool at Wembley. That same year, he also joined the FIFA list of assistant referees and ran the line during the Euro 96 group-stage fixture between Germany and Czech Republic at Old Trafford.

• Walton joined the Football League List of referees in 1998 and joined the Premier League Select List in 2003. That same year, he was the man in control of the LDV Vans Trophy final between Bristol City and Carlisle United at the Millennium Stadium.

• Walton's first Premier League fixture as a referee was Wolverhampton Wanderers' 4-3 win over Leicester City at Molineux on 25 October 2003.

• In January 2007, Walton travelled to Ecuador to help to run an Advanced Course for Referees' Instructors.

• Walton took charge of the 2008 FA Community Shield between Manchester United and Portsmouth at Wembley.

• This will be his second West Ham United game of the season, after taking charge of the 4-0 home defeat to Manchester United on 5 December.

West Ham United

• West Ham will be looking to make it three home leagues games unbeaten in a row following the draw with Chelsea and win against Portsmouth.

• Zola's side have now lost just once in their last five Premier League games.

• The Hammers will be looking to continue their encouraging home form in the league. In their last eight matches in east London, the Hammers have won three and drawn three, with the narrow defeat by Everton and the loss to Manchester United the only blotches on their Boleyn Ground copy book in that time.

• The Hammers have scored all seven of the penalties they have been awarded this season, a Premier League high.

• Prior to last August's stalemate, West Ham had scored in every league and cup meeting with Blackburn since 2000. The last time they had failed to hit the back of the net was in October 1998, when they lost 3-0 at Ewood Park.

• West Ham have scored 29 goals this season in the league with eleven different scorers on target. Carlton Cole leads the way (seven), with Alessandro Diamanti (five) and Guille Franco and Matthew Upson (three) next in line. Jack Collison, Junior Stanislas (two each), Manuel da Costa, Mark Noble, Luis Jimenez, Zavon Hines and Radoslav Kovac have also registered.

• Scott Parker has been cautioned seven times this season and Franco and Noble five. Julien Faubert, Cole, Collison and Kovac are each on four yellow cards, but will not be suspended if they receive a fifth as the FA disciplinary deadline has passed.

• Only Robert Green has played in every league game for the club this season. He is on a run of 110 successive league starts.

• Cole is on a run of 14 goals in 25 league starts since Boxing Day 2008 when he scored the second goal in a 4-1 win at Portsmouth.

• Alessandro Diamanti has the highest amount of shots (53) and assists (four) at the club.

• Mark Noble has put in more crosses than anyone else (13).

• Central defensive partners Matthew Upson and James Tomkins lead the way in the defensive clearances and defensive blocks lists respectively. Upson has made 29 clearances, while Tomkins has 21 blocks.

• Zola made his debut in English football at Ewood Park on 16 November 1996. The Italian was part of the Chelsea team that drew 1-1 with Blackburn that day.

Blackburn Rovers

• The visitors come into the game in good form themselves having won their last two league games. Allardyce's men beat Wigan and Fulham in their last two matches, which sandwiched the 6-4 Carling Cup semi-final second-leg defeat to Aston Villa.

• Rovers have not beaten the Hammers since 10 December 2005. The have also lost on their last ten visits to the Boleyn Ground.

• Blackburn have committed 318 fouls this season - the highest in the Premier League.

• They have also been caught offside 76 teams - another Premier League high.

• Nikola Kalinic scored his first Premier League goal for the club in the win against Wigan Athletic. That victory lifted them seven points clear of the drop zone.

• David Dunn is Rovers' leading Premier League scorer this season with five. Kalinic has netted eight times overall, with seven of those goals coming in the cup competitions.

Team news

• Carlton Cole could be in contention for his first start of 2010 after impressing as a substitute against Portsmouth. West Ham's top scorer had been sidelined with a knee injury picked up in the home game with Burnley on 28 November.

• James Tomkins has been training normally after the knock he took to the face in the midweek draw at Portsmouth.

• Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer are back in full training after hamstring problems with Herita Ilunga also close to full training after his own hamstring injury.

• Danny Gabbidon (hamstring) could be back in full training next week with Guille Franco (thigh) also getting closer to a training return.

• Zavon Hines (knee), Luis Boa Morte (knee) and Calum Davenport (leg) are all long-term absentees.

• It remains to be seen if Blackburn's two new signings, Turkey midfielder Yildiray Basturk and Algerian youngster Amine Linganzi, will feature on Saturday. The experienced Basturk, 31, has arrived on a short-term deal from German club VfB Stuttgart, while 20-year-old Linganzi has arrived on a three-and-a-half year deal from French club AS St Etienne.

Old boys

• Among the players who have represented both clubs are Fred Blackburn, Martin Britt, John Burton, Herman Conway, Christian Dailly, Tony Gale, Tommy Hampson, Harry Hindle, Matty Holmes, Marc Keller, Bob Morris, Lucas Neill, Ian Pearce, Bob Pride, Syd Puddefoot, John Radford, Robbie Slater, Matthew Smailes, Percy Smith and Lionel Watson.

General information

• Tickets for the match are now on general sale. For ticket information, click here.

• The weather forecast is for a sunny and bright afternoon, but with top temperatures only reaching 4C, it might be best to wrap up warm.