Blackburn v Stoke preview

Team news for Blackburn's Premier League clash with Stoke at Ewood Park on Boxing Day.

Last Updated: 24/12/10 at 07:25

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Blackburn are likely to be without captain Christopher Samba.

The 26-year-old was quoted as declaring his intention to leave the club following the sacking of Sam Allardyce, but he would have been a doubt anyway with an ankle problem.

New boss Steve Kean, who has been given the job until the end of the season, also has a number of other injury problems to contend with ahead of the match at Ewood Park.

Young defender Phil Jones is likely to miss most of the rest of the season following knee surgery while striker Jason Roberts is out for at least a month with a hamstring strain. Vince Grella (Achilles), Steven Nzonzi (hamstring) and Keith Andrews (groin) remain sidelined.

Last weekend's postponed match at Arsenal has been a blessing in disguise for Stoke manager Tony Pulis as it has allowed a couple of players to fully overcome their injury problems.

Forward Jon Walters has been the major beneficiary as he was suffering with flu and was a doubt for the trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has also regained full fitness after being troubled by an elbow injury and a couple of other niggles, but he will find it difficult to dislodge Asmir Begovic.

Mamady Sidibe's progress from an Achilles injury which has sidelined him since the end of August should see him make a comeback next month.

Blackburn (from): Robinson, Salgado, Nelsen, Givet, Olsson, Emerton, Pedersen, El Hadji-Diouf, Dunn, Bunn, Kalinic, Benjani, Hoilett, Mame Biram Diouf, Doran, Morris, Hanley.

Stoke (from): Begovic, Huth, Faye, Shawcross, Collins, Wilson, Etherington, Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Walters, Fuller, Jones, Gudjohnsen, Wilkinson, Higginbotham, Tuncay, Delap, Diao, Sorensen.

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