Blackburn v Stoke – Rovers’ injuries give Stoke massive boost

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Sam Allardyce may have been sacked in order to get the club pushing for European football, but the new owners will have to wait a bit longer for any post-Allardyce improvement.

Blackburn’s clash with West Ham was one of only three games last weekend not to succumb to the weather and they scrapped to a rather uninspiring 1-1 draw against West Ham in Steve Kean’s first game as caretaker manager.

Rovers are 11/10 to win this Boxing Day game against Tony Pulis’ Stoke side, but look set to be missing influential trio Jason Roberts, Chris Samba and Phil Jones who suffered knee ligament damage.

Kean said: “Phil’s looks a nasty one, I think that is going to be slightly long term, the doctor is concerned about it.

“He felt the outside of his knee and he knew straight away, it will require an operation and quite a long term injury.”

Stoke’s game against Arsenal last weekend was postponed meaning the Potters haven’t taken to the field since their 1-0 loss to Blackpool a fortnight ago. However, they should have a better time of things this weekend.

Prior to that Blackpool defeat, Stoke had gone five games without defeat, including a good away win at West Bromwich Albion. With Blackburn going through a period of upheaval and with several key players missing, backing Stoke to get all three points at 2/1 looks like a cracking bet.

A £10 bet on Stoke to win 2-0 pays out £110. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.