Blackburn boss Steve Kean has received a boost with the news that David Dunn is available for selection after overcoming a calf injury.
Junior Hoilett has also recovered from the tight hamstring he suffered in the draw with Norwich last weekend.
Chelsea captain John Terry is set to return to the side after being an unused substitute in the midweek Champions League draw with Genk.
John Obi Mikel has shaken off a back problem, but Didier Drogba is banned.
I don’t know whether to be commentator or counsellor for this one, plonked in the middle of two teams with ‘problems’.
Blackburn’s are obvious – in the bottom three with only one Premier League win this season, and only three to cheer in 24 games since January. On those bare facts alone it’s not surprising that many fans are against the manager
I wouldn’t expect anything too cavalier from the visitors in this one
After last week at Norwich, Steve Kean himself must feel that it’s the whole world against him rather than a vocal few thousand. With Rovers seconds away from winning, one of the most farcical penalty awards I’ve ever seen saw them get just the one point. Do these things ‘even out over time’?
Well, the ref for this game is Mike Dean, who once gave Blackburn a very debatable spot kick that won them a highly-charged derby at Burnley. Yes, I know that doesn’t particularly help Rovers fans’ states of mind at the moment!
Chelsea have their own issues. Leaving aside those that might affect individual performance, the chief one is the threat of suffering three league defeats in a row for the first time since October 1999.
With no Premier League clean sheet since the opening weekend and with last week’s defensive disasters against Arsenal still far too fresh in the mind, I wouldn’t expect anything too cavalier from the visitors in this one. In fact, I’m expecting a similar approach from Chelsea to that which I saw from Manchester United at Everton last Saturday, with United coming off the back of their own big-game horrors from the Manchester derby.
Ignoring his salary, good looks and sharp suits, I actually feel a bit for Andre Villas-Boas. The inevitable Jose Mourinho comparisons might have helped his rapid rise but can’t at times like these, with people like me pointing out stats like this: Mourinho’s team conceded 15 goals in the whole of his first Premier League season in charge. Villas-Boas’ team has conceded 15 in 10 games.