Blackburn Rovers Vs Everton, Sat 17 Apr 2010

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Blackburn could be without Chris Samba for the visit of Everton in the Barclays Premier League.

The defender came off with a groin problem against Manchester United last week and is rated as doubtful.

Vince Grella is also struggling after playing a full 90 minutes in that game but Martin Olsson, who left the field with a dead leg, and Brett Emerton, who suffered a hamstring problem, should be fit to play.

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce believes the match will be just as tough for his side as their recent encounters with the top two, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Blackburn came away with draws in both those games as part of a five-game unbeaten run which has seen them pushing for a top-10 finish as the season draws to a close.

Everton have enjoyed a considerable upturn in form themselves though, fighting back from an injury-hampered start to the campaign to mount a challenge for a place in Europe.

David Moyes' side have drawn their last three games - against Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa - where they might have won, but they are undefeated in seven and have beaten both Chelsea and United since Christmas.

"While Everton are not in the top four, they are the in-form team in the Premier League at the moment," Allardyce said.

"I think David has lost only two in 19 Premier League games. I watched them at Wolves away and they should have won that game comfortably, missing chances on the day, and I watched them at Villa on Wednesday night.

"I'm thinking this game is going to be as tough as the Manchester United and Chelsea ones."

Allardyce has earmarked Tim Cahill - who scored two trademark headers in the 2-2 draw at Villa - as a player his team will have to give some "careful attention" at Ewood Park.

"He is exceptionally good, particularly in the air as we saw," Allardyce said.

"He is a very determined player who is very brave. I think that, coupled with his ability, makes him a real threat in the goal area and he can jump higher than anyone else - that is what makes him so dangerous.

"He will need some careful attention, in the box particularly."

Everton midfielder John Heitinga is facing a late fitness test after the Dutchman suffered a foot injury in the draw against Aston Villa in midweek.

Mikel Arteta looks certain to remain absent with a groin strain while Victor Anichebe has a hip injury.

Everton manager David Moyes has revealed how Cahill became the head boy in the penalty area.

Cahill`s seven top flight goals this season have come from headers.

Cahill has become a key figure for Everton after arriving in the summer of 2004 from Millwall.

Moyes said: "It has been his trademark that he can get goals with headers and find space in the box. It is not just his great leap. He is brave as well. If you are brave then you have a chance.

"You want to attack the ball and go and head it and he does that. Good players make it difficult for you to jump against them.

"He is actually very good with his feet as well. He has tended to get us 10 plus goals a season. I've had some good players and Tim is certainly up with the best.

"It has been a good bit of business. Everton has been good for Tim as well and helped him progress. He has certainly earned the status he has here."

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