Blackburn Rovers host League One side Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup 2nd Round on Wednesday evening. Both managers are set to give their fringe players a chance to shine but Rovers boss Steve Kean has signalled his intent on going on a cup run this season but his sides start to the League season might suggest that the Scottish boss will have to concentrate on keeping Rovers in the England’s top division.
As for Sheffield Wednesday, boss Gary Megson will also like a cup run but his priority has to be securing promotion back to the second tier of English football. This match according to many people could be a Championship fixture next season. Blackburn are tipped to be relegated while the Owls are favourites to be promoted.
Steve Kean finds himself under early season pressure following two defeats in two in the Premier League and tonight’s game is a no win situation for the Rovers boss. His side are expected to go through but after many Premier League teams were knocked out by lower league clubs on Tuesday evening, the League One side will fancy another cup upset. An embarrassing defeat would almost certainly push Kean closer to the Ewood Park exit door.
In terms of team news, Kean is likely to pick a team which is mixed with youth and experience. He must be tempted to rest his first team regulars ahead of Saturday’s crucial game against Everton but he also wants to go on a cup run and avoid a cup banana skin. Gael Givet is expected to start for the home side and will provide the experience in the Rovers team. Radosav Petrovic could make his home debut after making a brief appearance at Villa Park on Saturday.
Gary Megson has nothing to lose going to Ewood Park and will be emphasing to his players that there is potential for a cup upset. He will shuffle his pack slightly and the Owls boss gave his fringe players a chance to shine during their first round victory over Blackpool so expect more of the same from Megson.
Despite wanting to go on a cup run, Steve Kean can use the game in order to bring confidence to the club. They are still awaiting their first victory of the season and a win on Wednesday could just bring confidence to the players and fans.
Last time these two clubs met was back in 2002. It was in the same competition and Blackburn came out on top 4-2. The sides have played each other 139 times in all competitions with Sheffield Wednesday edging the overall victories.
It should be a good game with both sides looking to win the game for different reasons. Kick off at Ewood Park is at 8pm. The last thing either side will want is extra time and that will be played if the scores are level after 90 minutes, penalties will follow if required.
My Prediction: Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
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