Steve Kean
The bookies favourite and most likely to be the first managers sacked in the 20011/12 Premier League season Reuters

Chelsea travel to Blackburn Rovers hoping to end their recent jitters and will be buoyed by their recent form against the Lancashire club having won 13 of the last 18 meetings between the Premier League sides.

Andre Villas-Boas' team have lost their last two league games, against Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal, and have of course found themselves embroiled in the investigation into John Terry's alleged racist abuse of Anton Ferdinand.

Steve Kean's side have been gradually improving in recent weeks but still find themselves precariously placed in 18<sup>th position in the table, but remarkably the much maligned Ewood Park chief maintains his side can fulfil their ambition of playing European football within five years.

"The owners want us within four or five years to competing in Europe season on season," Kean told The Times. "I don't think there's any reason why we can't do that.

"But what they want to do is to do it gradually. I don't think they're going to throw hundreds of millions at it to get there in one season.

"Obviously when you're in a position in the bottom three, it's not nice, but they're very successful business people.

"And once they make their mind up about what direction they want to go in any business, I think they will stick to it.

"They will give it a period of time and then they will judge it. Certainly not within ten games.

"They know where they want us to go long-term and nothing is going to change."

Rovers' defensive woes continue to hamper their lofty ambitions with Scott Dann, Ryan Nelson and Michel Salgado all side-lined, but Kean is hoping their standout youngster Junior Hoilett shrugs off the injury which forced him off against Norwich last week.

Chelsea will be without the injured Jon Obi Mikel but Andre Villas-Boas will recall his talismanic skipper John Terry, as well Frank Lampard and the increasingly influential Juan Mata, all of whom were substitutes during their 1-1 draw with Genk in midweek.

Despite his side's perceived weakness at the back, the aforementioned Portuguese tactician believes they have a cohesive enough backline to cope with the demands of Blackburn, but did admit he is hoping for a much improved team performance than witnessed in recent weeks.

"Defending is a collective organisation - it's nothing about one or more individuals," he told Chelsea's official website.

"It is to do with collective organisation, and there are collective mistakes we have addressed, I think we went one step up in terms of our collective organisation against Genk and we will just have to try to continue to transfer that into the games and create more goalscoring opportunities and prevent the opponent from creating theirs.

"There is always room for improvement, there must be. We are not satisfied with conceding goals but our most important task is to create more goalscoring opportunities than our opponent and put them in the back of the net because if we do that we are able to win most of the games.

"We have good solid organisation, and it is not one game that ends 5-3 that will make us question our defensive organisation, particularly when two goals happen from different situations, situations that are imponderables from the game - a player slipping when a pass goes behind and when you are going all-out attack to try to get a draw.

"Our defensive organisation is solid, it's competent and we have complete trust in it."

Chelsea will be looking to improve on their away record, which is currently the worst form of any side in the current top six, having amassed just seven points from five matches.

Probable Lineups:

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Lowe, Givet, Samba, Olsson, Pedersen, N'Zonzi, Rochina, Hoilett, Formica, Yakubu.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Meireles, Lampard, Sturridge, Torres, Mata.