Blackburn vs Manchester United
(Information from

Steve Kean and his Blackburn side will welcome Manchester United to Ewood Park happy in the knowledge they are one of only two teams, in the league this season, to have beaten Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

The match will be available live on in the UK and in the US.

However, that record will cut no ice with Ferguson intent on stretching his lead at the top of the table from a Manchester City side that looks to have run out of title-winning steam at absolutely the wrong time in the year. Expect a clinical and ruthless performance from the Red Devils... expect that lead over City to go up to five points... and expect the Premier League to stay in the red half of Manchester, for this season at least.

United have been boosted by the fact that striker Michael Owen may at last be ready for first-team action in the near future (although he will probably not play this game), following a long-term injury. The experienced Englishman's return, coupled with the recent return of winger Antonio Valencia should be enough of a catalyst to see United past the finishing line at the head of the pile. Ferguson will, however, be counting on the goal-scoring exploits of lead scorer Wayne Rooney (21 goals) and has set the Englishman a target of scoring at least a goal every game, in the title run-in. Expect Rooney to rise to the challenge.

However... and this is a tantalising piece of information... the last time Manchester United lost a Premier League fixture was at the turn of the year, against Newcastle. The point, though, is that the loss to the Magpies was preceded by a loss to Blackburn... and the latter loss came after a nine-match unbeaten run! Manchester United are presently on a 10-match unbeaten run... déjà vu, anyone?

Interesting tidbits aside, it is admittedly difficult to see United coming a cropper in this game, particularly after being gifted an opportunity to extend their championship lead so late in the season.

Blackburn, meanwhile, will come into this game with a fair degree of confidence. The Rovers have won two of their last three games and despite heavy defeats to Manchester City (0-3) and Arsenal (1-7) in recent weeks, have actually done fairly well for themselves, with wins against QPR and Sunderland (at home) and Wolves (away).

Kean's men will be riding on the form of leading goal scorer Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who has had a stellar season, with 14 goals to his name already. They will also be looking to youngster David Hoilett, who has six strikes and the attention of as yet unnamed Premier League clubs.


Blackburn Rovers 1 - Manchester United 2

United do not, strictly speaking, have to win this game. Even if they do lose, they will retain top spot in the league. However, anything other than a win will give rivals City a gigantic confidence boost after they slipped against Sunderland (City could only manage a 3-3 draw in their game). For that reason alone, Ferguson and his men will be primed for a win.