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29/12/2011 13:00 , Adam Marshall
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Utd v Blackburn preview

celebrations of a record 19th league success.

The boss
Steve Kean has had to endure dog's abuse from the Rovers fans and his treatment during the loss to Bolton made difficult viewing for neutrals. The Scot replaced Sam Allardyce at the helm and is hoping to be given more time to bring in reinforcements during the January window. The performance - and result - at Anfield certainly helped his cause.

Star man
Chris Samba is a giant of a centre-back who seems like a one-man defence at times. A shrewd acquisition by former Red Mark Hughes in 2007, the 27-year-old remained loyal in the summer despite interest from Arsenal and other clubs. Always a threat at set-pieces, the Congolese stopper has scored twice this season and netted in the 7-1 hammering at Old Trafford last time around. Although he can expect to be busy on New Year's Eve, he'll be a key figure for the visitors.

Quote/unquote
"Sir Alex left a long message and I called him back. We had a good chat and I was very appreciative of his message of support, along with most other managers who have been in contact." Steve Kean, Blackburn boss.

Sub-plots
Sir Alex turns 70 on 31 December and, although he does not want to make a big deal of the occasion, his perfect birthday present would be another three points. Berbatov, with four goals in his last two games, will hope to start after his demolition job in this fixture last season while Jones' return could see him play against his old club for the first time since his move in the summer.

Whistle blower
Mike Dean, from the Wirral, takes charge of affairs. The 43-year-old referee

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