Blackburn Rovers Vs Sunderland, Mon 18 Oct 2010

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David Dunn is expected to play some part for Blackburn when Sunderland visit on Monday.

Dunn has recovered from a hamstring strain but Vince Grella is still missing with the same problem.

Keith Andrews is also out after having an operation on a groin injury while Ryan Nelsen is a doubt with a thigh problem.

Darren Bent is a major doubt for the Black Cats.

The striker returned from England duty with a groin injury and manager Steve Bruce is hoping he can shake off the problem over the next 48 hours, although record signing Asamoah Gyan is on stand-by.

Loan signing Danny Welbeck, who was ineligible for the game against parent club Manchester United, returns to the squad, while Kieran Richardson, Anton Ferdinand and John Mensah have all shaken off hamstring injuries and like Craig Gordon (broken arm), are back in contention.

David Meyler (knee) is back in light training but is still some way away from playing, while Fraizer Campbell (also knee) remains a long-term absentee.

Ahead of the match, Bruce launched a passionate defence of Blackburn counterpart Sam Allardyce amid the ongoing debate over reckless tackling.

Allardyce's approach has been questioned by Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy, who singled out his team, Wolves and Stoke for criticism over the physical nature of their play.

While the Black Cats boss knows exactly what to expect when he sends his team into battle with Rovers, he insists Allardyce's reputation is unwarranted.

He said: "The reason, I have said repeatedly, the Premier League is like it is is the competitiveness of it.

"If we take it away, we will end up like leagues in France and Spain and Italy where, if I take you to a game, it is just all technique and there is no real physical element.

"It is half the pace our games are at and if we take away that element, we will take away what we have got in this country, which is a fantastic competitive division.

"I think I speak for Sam and every other manager, none of us want to go and send a team out that will physically hurt anybody else, that is absolute nonsense.

"I don't know where Danny's comments have come from or why he has chosen to do that. His manager Mark Hughes, for instance, had a Blackburn team that was very competitive.

"This Premier League is the way it is and the biggest spectacle that is beamed around the world because of the competitive nature of it, and if we take that away, we will just end up like everybody else."

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Blackburn Rovers
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