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LIVERPOOL v BLACKBURN ROVERS


Dan
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Fat Sam :lol:

 

Sam Allardyce has renewed hostilities with Rafael Benítez ahead of Blackburn Rovers' visit to Anfield tomorrow by accusing the Liverpool manager of being obsessed with "whingeing and moaning", although the Spaniard has good reason to do so after Steven Gerrard was last night ­diagnosed with a strained adductor in his groin.

 

Gerrard is doubtful for the game with Rovers after a scan identified the cause of his withdrawal against Fulham, and discomfort during Wednesday's Champions League defeat to Chelsea, as a small strain to an adductor muscle. The player and the club's medical staff will meet this morning to decide whether to risk the midfielder with next Tuesday's return at Stamford Bridge in mind.

 

Gerrard's absence there would be a major setback for a manager who came in for severe criticism from his Blackburn counterpart yesterday. Enmity has existed between Allardyce and Benítez since Bolton inflicted the first Premier League defeat on the Liverpool manager in August 2004, prompting the beginning of Benítez's criticism of his tactics.

 

"You can't stop him whingeing and moaning, he loves it," said Allardyce, who may employ his 6ft 5in defender, Chris Samba, at centre-forward against Liverpool tomorrow lunchtime. "Liverpool played exactly the same way when they had Peter Crouch and he plays that way when it suits him. It's great when a manager moans about me and my teams. If I can beat Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United home and away then I'm a major tactician and a very good manager. You must be to beat a £200m or £300m team with a side that cost £25m."

 

The Blackburn manager also believes Benítez has made a mistake by making a verbal attack on Sir Alex Ferguson. "He'd be foolish taking Sir Alex on. Sir Alex knows every trick in the book," said Allardyce. "He [benítez] produces results and high-level performances for Liverpool whether you like his style or not. Managers are very transparent and we can't help moaning and groaning. I'm the same. I've managed to psyche a few managers out in the past but no one has ever psyched me out because I don't give a damn what people say."

 

Blackburn will be without the injured Roque Santa Cruz and Jason Roberts at Anfield, with the latter a major doubt for the remainder of Rovers' fight for Premier League survival. "Jason has a small hairline crack in a metatarsal," said Allardyce. "He could be out for three to four weeks, or six to eight, but that can't be determined until he's had a second scan in a few weeks' time."

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