By Lee Dover
Blackburn Rovers v Barnsley
Tuesday, 7.45pm, Ewood Park
Steve Kean’s relationship with Blackburn’s die-hard supporters makes a trip to Loftus Road for John Terry look like a romantic day out.
Kean’s initial appointment at the famous Lancashire club last summer was met with anger and bemusement and that soon turn to hatred as Rovers crept closer to the relegation trapdoor.
Despite the poor start, Kean has had moments of inspiration when given the resources to shine in the more relaxed atmosphere of the Championship and his side are 4/9 in Paddy Power’s online betting tonight while Barnsley trade at 6/1 to pull off what would be a shock victory. The draw is priced at 16/5.
Take Jordan Rhodes (22). The £8m record signing for Rovers was exceptional as he ripped Bristol City’s defence apart, in his team clinching a thrilling 5-3 victory at Ashton Gate. Kean was impressed:
It wasn’t just the way he took his goals. I don’t think he gave the ball away all afternoon and his link-up play was excellent. The great thing when you buy a quality striker is that when he gets a chance you expect him to score.
Rhodes has the perfect opportunity to show off some more magic tonight when they entertain Championship underdogs Barnsley.
The Scotland international will be playing in front of his home crowd for the first time and Paddy Power is offering 13/5 that Rhodes will score the first goal of the game.
Blackburn haven’t been too shabby as they adjusted to life in the Championship. The Lancashire club is one of only two teams in this league undefeated to date – Nottingham Forest are the other – and top the table after wins over Hull City, Leicester City and Bristol City.
However, Barnsley will present a stern test after home wins over Middlesbrough and Bristol City on top of an impressive 1-1 draw against Championship favourites Blackpool.
The Tykes’ have struggled to maintain their bite away from home though, suffering defeats on their travels against Wolves (3-1) and Brighton (5-1) this term.