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Blackburn vs West Ham – Match Preview

New Blackburn loan signing Matt Grimes was an unused substitute in midweek but could make his club debut this weekend.

Fellow midfielder Hope Akpan could return after illness.

West Ham will be without forwards Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia, who have adductor and ankle problems respectively.

Defender Sam Byram is cup-tied but midfielder Manuel Lanzini could feature after six weeks on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

Editor’s Note: Blackburn aren’t having the best of seasons with them currently 18th in the Championship and with their star striker Jordan Rhodes sold to Middlesbrough last month they are going to have a real task on their hands if they are to get past Premier League opposition in the form of West Ham.

Last time out Blackburn managed their first win in 10 matches as they beat fellow strugglers Fulham 3-0 on Tuesday. A win that gives them still a comfortable buffer between them and a Championship relegation battle but they still have a bit of work to do to make sure they stay in England’s second tier.

Blackburn have got nothing to lose so the pressure will be off them this Afternoon as they hope they can use the home tie to their advantage. Ewood Park won’t quite be full but the Blackburn faithful will still be able to create a fair bit of noise to push their beloved Rovers on.

They face a West Ham who are in 7th and could well be in with a shout of welcoming European Football to the Olympic Stadium next season. 7th place would be a massive success for Slaven Bilic’s first season in charge but he’s made no secret of his desire to win the F.A. Cup this season.

In the last round The Hammers managed to beat Liverpool in a dramatic replay at Upton Park in what could possibly be the last ever F.A. Cup game played at the ground, if it is then it’s a fitting way to bow out from under the floodlights.

Last Weekend Slaven Bilic’s side made hard work of their trip to Norwich, giving them a 2-0 head start before managing to claw them back to a 2-2 and salvaging a point. That coupled with defeat to Southampton the week previous has seen the South Coast side leapfrog them into 6th.

I think West Ham should have enough in them to win comfortably at Ewood Park, I can’t see where Blackburn’s main threats will come from and it should be a relatively routine win for The Claret and Blue of East London. An away win for me.

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