By Brian Sears
14 April 2011
The battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League is tighter than a sealed envelope, and 3.814592 times stickier (we reckon), which means that any advantage that a struggling team can muster – physical, mental, psychological – could make the difference between staying in the Promised Land or heading to oblivion (aka The Championship).
Blackburn Rovers are very much involved in a scrap for survival, having not won any of their last eight Premier League matches, since beating West Brom 2-0 on 23 January. Since then, Rovers have lost four league gamesand drawn four, including the last three.
On Saturday they face a tricky away trip to Everton, who despite their injury crisis have been quietly climbing the table on the back of an unbeaten run that now stretches to six games, with Everton’s last defeat the 2-0 reverse at Bolton on 13 February. Since then, Everton have won four games and drawn two.
In this dark hour and with the prospect of the drop looming, what does history tell us about Blackburn’s record at Everton in the Premier League? It tells us Blackburn have won more points at Goodison Park (23) than at any other away ground, having secured seven wins and two draws from 16 matches, for a return of 1.44 points per game on average. (See table for Rovers’ full away record).
Everton are therefore Blackburn’s favourite hosts – to date. Stoke have been their least favourite. In three visits to the Britannia Stadium, Blackburn have yielded no points and not even scored a goal.
Overall at Goodison Park, the points between Blackburn and Everton have been shared equally and remarkably it’s exactly the same story when it comes to Everton’s trips to Ewood Park. There, both clubs have secured six wins and five draws from their 17 Premier League meetings.
When all the results home and away are counted up, only goal difference separates the clubs. And Rovers’ one-goal victory on the first day of this season gives them an aggregate of 36 goals to Everton’s 35.