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Rhodes’ form bodes well for Blackburn chances of an FA Cup upset

| 08.04.2015

Having given Liverpool’s defence a good old-fashioned run around at Anfield, the sight of 16-goal man Rudi Gestede limping off against Leeds just days prior to the FA Cup quarter-final replay will have filled Blackburn Rovers fans with dread.

Gestede was last seen clutching his hamstring as he vacated the Elland Road pitch on Saturday before the Wednesday collision with Liverpool at Ewood Park.

Although the club are yet to confirm whether the Benin international will definitely miss the vital match, his omission would strike a blow for Gary Bowyer’s 9/2 underdogs in light of his performance in the original fixture.

The rangy striker was a menace all afternoon at Anfield with his physicality, hold-up play and aerial prowess causing the likes of Martin Skrtel all sorts of problems, albeit the goal his performance merited never quite transpired.

Where one door closes another one opens, though, and having missed the chance to make an impression at Anfield while warming the bench, Jordan Rhodes will be chomping at the bit to correct that at Ewood.

Rhodes made it five goals in his last six Blackburn appearances when notching at Leeds in that 3-0 triumph and the Scotland international will fancy his chances of penetrating a makeshift Reds defence.

Rovers’ record signing is an 8/1 chance to grab the first goal against a Liverpool backline robbed of Emre Can and Martin Skrtel through injury, which has now conceded six times in two games.

Kolo Toure was undone far too easily against Arsenal, while Dejan Lovren is clearly not trusted by Brendan Rodgers despite the manager ferociously pursuing the centre-back last summer before splurging £20m on him.

Even if Gestede is able to take the field, Rhodes is almost certain to start alongside him judging by Bowyer’s recent Championship selections and in this prolific vein of form the 31/10 about a goal anytime looks plump.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.