Blackburn Rovers v Stoke City: Latest team news UDPATED

Blackburn are likely to be without captain Christopher Samba for the Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke on Boxing Day.

The 26-year-old was quoted yesterday declaring his intention to leave the club following the sacking of manager Sam Allardyce, while 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.

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


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 in time for the meeting with Blackburn on Boxing Day.

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

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

Striker 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.

Team (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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