Sam Allardyce has made no secret of his desire to bring a trophy to Ewood Park and this undoubtedly his big chance. Semi-final's are never easy but given Rovers could have drawn either Manchester City or Manchester United, then big Sam would surely have been pleased to see Aston Villa come out of the hat. The first leg will probably determine whether Rovers progress to Wembley, because if they don't emerge from this game with a lead, it's difficult to envisage them going to Villa Park and winning. However, if they can take an advantage into the second leg, they are more than capable of seeing this through.
Lack of firepower is Rovers biggest problem and their strikers have been firing blanks all season. So much rests on the broad shoulders of David Dunn but although he's been hampered by niggling injuries this term, when he has been on the pitch, he has been a shining light. A hero of the Ewood Park faithful, a big performance from him is a must if Blackburn are to unlock what has proved a very resolute Villa back line this term.
Villa bounced back from their two festive defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal by seeing off Rovers 3-1 at Villa Park earlier this month but Rovers once again paid for not having a quality striker in their side, because there is no doubt that they are creating enough chances, and that was again in evidence.
Villa are a 4-9 chance to get to Wembley and that would be a decent price if they emerge from Ewood with parity, or better, but Rovers' home record suggests that is unlikely and that makes the current 7-4 about the Lancashire outfit qualifying for their first final since victory in this competition in 2002 look tempting.
And if you fancy the 7-4 about Rovers' getting to Wembley, then you will be licking your lips about the best price of 2-1 for this 90 minutes of football. Despite their lack of firepower, Rovers have lost only two of their ten home league games this season, and they saw off Martin O'Neill's side 2-1 when these teams met here in September. The recommendation has to be back Blackburn in 90 minutes, and top scorer David Dunn is the man most likely to provide the inspiration. He can be backed at 7-2 to score at any time and that too looks cracking value.
Blackburn to win (2-1)
David Dunn to score any time (7-2)
# # #
Easyodds is a betting odds comparision website that displays odds from over 20 leading bookmakers, plus offers free bets and special event offers.