Football betting: Blackburn Rovers to win even without boss Big Sam

It's not often I agree with anything Sir Alex Ferguson has to say, but it's absolutely impossible to pick faults in his assumption that Sam Allardyce's dismissal at Blackburn Rovers was a ridiculous one.

You just couldn't make it up – the manager of a team of constant over-achievers who has done so well making silk purses from sows' ears to the extent that even England manager Fabio Capello recently hinted that Big Sam had to be seen as his natural successor.

Still his legacy will live on until the January transfer window at least and that means that Rovers will turn out a side on Saturday that will do as it says on the tin.

That means that up front they'll play a lone target man with a couple of deeper livewires picking up the second ball.

It means that in midfield they'll operate with converted centre-half Phil Jones as extra insurance whilst at the back, they will all to a man adhere strictly to the John Smith's school of no-nonsense defending.

"Have it," is the cry whenever the ball comes near the back-line, but it works – four wins from their last seven tells us that and as long as the incoming regime opt for a degree of continuity, then a top-half berth has to be a realistic target as they go into the new year.

Certainly they hold a superb chance of making it five wins from eight anyway with West Ham United the visitors on Saturday.

This, remember is the same West Ham, that apart from a stunning Carling Cup success over Manchester United's reserves have looked shambolic all season.

Rudderless, clueless and appearing nave in the extreme the Hammers are going to have to turn things round full circle if they are to survive.

And that looks beyond them with a manager in Avram Grant who just looks as if he's unable to deal with crisis, a goalkeeper who would struggle to catch a cold it would seem, and a host of outfield players who just don't have the ability or the application to be competitive at this level.

Okay, so any team with a footballer of Scott Parker's stamp in it always has a small squeak of pulling off a result, but on Saturday Blackburn are sure to have the midfield maestro under lock and key as soon as the first whistle blows.

That's a gimmee because everybody can see that Grant's insistence on using the lightweight Jonathon Spector alongside him in the engine room ensures that by taking out Parker you paralyse his team in a stroke. As a result, striker Carlton Cole will do what Carlton Cole always does – go missing – injury-prone Keiron Dyer will end up clutching the back of his hamstring and the likes of Matthew Upson and James Tomkins will get swamped on far too many occasions for them to keep Rovers at bay.

More carnage for the Hammers then and with a fantastic price of 4/5 available about a side that have won their last three home matches as well as playing Chelsea off Ewood Park previous to that in a desperately unlucky defeat, there could be carnage for the bookies also.

Take it to what you can afford as well as taking a correct score punt on 3-0 at 16/1.

Something for the Weekend

3 homes: Cardiff, Northampton & Port Vale (9/2)

3 aways: Newcastle, Swansea & Huddersfield (20/1)

Steer clear of: West Brom (8/11 at home to Wolves)

* Odds supplied by Taylor's Bookmakers and Betfair exchange, LS28 6PA and may vary.

For enquiries telephone 0113 256 8268 during office hours.

Yorkshire's Matthew Fisher. Picture: John Mallett

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