Stadium: Ewood Park (31,367)
Distance from OT: 37.1 miles
Position 07/08: 7th
Head-to-head 07/08: 2-0 (h) 1-1 (a)
When do we play them? 4/10 (a) 21/2 (h)

14/08/2008 07:36

League profile: Blackburn

Incey's back in the top flight and ready to show his mettle

Headmaster It’s a Premier League bow for ex-Red Paul Ince – who’d rather be called ‘the Guvnor’ as opposed to ‘Sir’ – after a swift lower-league apprenticeship. He saved Macclesfield from non-league football, and led MK Dons to a League Two/Johnson’s Paint Trophy double. But he's taken on a big task at Ewood.

Head boy At 6ft 2in, Paraguayan Santa Cruz looks every inch the archetypal front man; English in all but his nationality. A tidy finisher, he struck 26 goals last season.

Maths Three times last season Santa Cruz scored two or more goals – and Rovers still didn’t win!

English Just six of the current crop are English (west London-born Jason Roberts having thrown his lot in with Grenada).

History Seventh place was okay, but the UEFA Cup run was poor and Rovers missed out on 2008/09’s competition by losing at Birmingham in the last game.

Tuck shot item A Kinder Egg – they don’t look that special from the outside but perennially come up with a surprise or two. Often against United.

Predicted grade B– Incey will do well to emulate Sparky in his first season – so around ninth place; it will be a major fillip if Matt Derbyshire can emerge from the shadows during this campaign.

Detention Has to be Ryan Nelsen: off twice last term, the first time two games into the league campaign.


Premier League