Don't miss these

Transfer news, rumours and gossip from Thursday's papers
    The FA's bizarre handling of the England boss vacancy could end up costing Spurs a lot more than a top four spot
      Why Comolli's shock departure is the start of a new Boston revolution at Anfield
        VIDEO: When Gary Met Sally - Watch hilarious mash-up of G-Nev's orgasmic reaction to Torres goal
          Transfer news, rumours and gossip from Wednesday's papers
            Why that moment of madness will haunt Terry forever
              Why I voted for Valencia, not RvP, as player of the year
                Why priceless RvP is the most deserving Footballer of the Year winner for years
                  Serie A blog: The disgraceful display by Genoa fans on Sunday was the inevitable result of Italian football's cosy relationship with Ultras
                    The fact that Newcastle fans may now be disappointed to finish fifth proves just how good their season has been
                      Barca go into this game in unfamiliar territory - can Guardiola get them back on track and into another final?
                        Transfer news, rumours and gossip from Tuesday's papers
                          Why Chelsea are taking on Barcelona AND the whole Messi-loving world at the Nou Camp
                            Lawro previews Barcelona v Chelsea: Why Blues must be mythbusters and netbusters
                              3PM Extra: Luis Suarez trips himself up, Sevilla's tennis ball protest and hilarious new ExplodingHeads sketch
                                Matt Lawrence's diary: My exciting new book project, home schooling and Peppa Pig addicition
                                  Bundesliga blog: The amazing story of Freiburg's Great Escape
                                    Everton fans will be delighted by Old Trafford fightback - but why couldn't they have done it at Wembley?
                                      Barcelona vs Chelsea preview: Can the Blues complete the job? Martin Lipton assesses their chances
                                        Transfer news, rumours and gossip from Monday's papers
                                          Why's Ashley Young diving into the Apple Store? And why's Nick Bendtner off Arsene's Xmas card list?
                                            Transfer news, rumours and gossip from Sunday's papers
                                              Why I hope Chelsea can pull off the greatest English result in the history of European football against Barca
                                                Why I'm backing champion jockey Ferguson to go the distance against the novices of City
                                                  Van Persie is a no-brainer for Player of the Year, but who has been the best manager?

                                                    Is Lionel Messi the best footballer ever?

                                                    Blackburn
                                                    Mauro Formica (41 mins)
                                                    David Hoilett (49 mins)
                                                    2-0
                                                    Norwich

                                                    Barclays Premier League , Apr 21, 2012
                                                    Ground: Ewood Park , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 23,218

                                                    Team news

                                                    Kean: Players remain united Blackburn boss Steve Kean insists his relegation-threatened squad are still close-knit despite the latest ructions which saw French defender Gael Givet left out of the last match.

                                                    Kean says the issue with Givet has now been settled - the manager had deemed him "not in the right frame of mind" to face Swansea last weekend - and that the player has been "magnificent" in training following a meeting earlier this week.

                                                    The Rovers manager, whose side entertain Norwich needing three points to keep their survival hopes alive, said the squad - now on a run of five successive Premier League defeats - had not been affected by the events surrounding Givet.

                                                    Kean said: "There were things that seemed to surround us, as always, and there was meant to be a problem when there wasn't.

                                                    "Gael came into the office and spoke with me and was very positive with his outlook so I'm delighted he's going to be back in the side.

                                                    "When I spoke to him last week I didn't feel he was in the right frame of mind, this week he has been magnificent after our chat." Asked if the issue with Givet had destabilised the squad, Kean insisted that was not the case.

                                                    He added: "You might go to work one day and not really feel that great and if you have a good boss they will be understanding, and I felt I dealt with it well.

                                                    "To a man the players have all trained well and there has been a good positive atmosphere with no nervous edge." Blackburn's plight looks increasingly desperate - they are second from bottom and recent results make the club look doomed to Championship football next season.

                                                    Kean, though, is refusing to abandon hope and believes Rovers should take heart from their performance at Norwich earlier this season when a dubious penalty decision in the last minute saw them draw 3-3.

                                                    He added: "Any team can go on a bad run, it doesn't make you a bad team.

                                                    "This is 100% a three-pointer. We feel we owe Norwich one.

                                                    "We felt hard done by at Norwich when we didn't get all three points earlier in the season - that day we were well worthy of the win.

                                                    "The second part of the season they have done well but this is almost a cup match - form goes out of the window." Yakubu and Junior Hoilett have shaken off injury niggles and will play, but Martin Olsson (groin) remains a doubt and Grant Hanley is out for the remaining games of the season with ankle ligament damage.

                                                    Paul Lambert maintains Norwich must not let Blackburn's struggles deflect their own focus at Ewood Park.

                                                    Rovers fans are set to protest against Kean and the club's hierarchy before kick-off, after a miserable run of form and the prospect of the drop.

                                                    By contrast, the Canaries are well clear of the relegation dogfight, with 43 points heading into the final four games of what has been an impressive return to the top flight.

                                                    After last weekend's 6-1 home defeat by title-chasing Manchester City, Lambert is expecting a positive response in what is expected to be a hostile atmosphere.

                                                    "I know they are under pressure from all quarters to try and get a result, but I can't influence what is happening up there," the Norwich manager told a press conference.

                                                    "They have to win the game, but the crowd at the moment are not with the manager.

                                                    "You feel for Steve Kean and what he has had to go through. I don't think a fans protest is right.

                                                    "They have quite a tough run-in, but the points are there for them to still do it, however I have my own things to concentrate on." Striker James Vaughan returns to the first-team squad for the first time since February after the summer signing from Everton suffered a serious knee injury and then a hamstring problem.

                                                    Lambert is expected to make more additions to the squad over the summer as he prepares for a second season among the elite of English football.

                                                    "The team needs considerable help to go again, there is no doubt about that," he said.

                                                    "I have got things in my head about the way forward, but I never really look too far ahead, you just don't know.

                                                    "Bringing players in with Premier League experience dictates the finances you have to lay out.

                                                    Match predictor

                                                    Your predictions

                                                    Your predictions about Blackburn and Norwich

                                                    Blackburn vs Norwich

                                                    Last modified 17:32 21/04/12

                                                    Rovers boost survival hopes Superb strikes from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett gave Blackburn's Barclays Premier League survival hopes a mighty boost with a 2-0 victory over Norwich at Ewood Park.

                                                    Formica volleyed home a Morten Gamst Pedersen cross on 40 minutes and four minutes after the break Hoilett let fly with a 25-yard screamer into the top corner.

                                                    Their goals brought an emphatic end to a run of five consecutive league defeats which had plunged beleaguered Steve Kean's men back into the drop zone.

                                                    Kean had made two changes for the crunch encounter, bringing back Formica as well as Gael Givet, whom the manager had declared "not in the right frame of mind" prior to last week's loss at Swansea.

                                                    All week Kean had insisted his side's fighting spirit was undamaged, and it was a mark of their belief that they managed to ride out the difficult early pressure.

                                                    Paul Lambert's Canaries looked flat-footed after last week's mauling by Manchester City and contributed little as Rovers took control from the start.

                                                    Bradley Orr and Scott Dann came close in the early stages but the tension was evident in boisterous calls for Kean's dismissal, which began before 10 minutes were on the clock.

                                                    James Vaughan had a half-chance for the visitors as the Rovers defence panicked in their own box, but at the other end Ryan Bennett had to hook clear to deny Hoilett.

                                                    Jonathan Howson came close for Norwich on the half-hour when his powerful long-range drive was tipped over by Paul Robinson in the Rovers goal.

                                                    But it was Rovers who managed to retain the upper hand, Yakubu almost connecting with a dangerous cross from Pedersen in front of goal.

                                                    And the Nigerian had his side's best early chance in the 37th minute when Pedersen headed down and he attempted an overhead kick which struck the base of the post.

                                                    Three minutes later Rovers grabbed the lead when Yakubu fed Pedersen on the right and the recalled Formica met the Norwegian's cross with a crisp sliding volley past Ruddy.

                                                    Rovers doubled their advantage shortly after the restart with Hoilett's seventh and best goal of the season, cutting in from the left flank and letting fly past a helpless Ruddy.

                                                    The Canaries were offering precious little in response as Rovers began to take a hold on the game, Hoilett almost finding Yakubu in front of goal on 55 minutes.

                                                    The visitors did briefly rally in the final quarter, Elliott Bennett's cross just eluding Elliott Ward, then Aaron Wilbraham bringing a fine low save out of Robinson.

                                                    Team Line-ups

                                                    BlackburnRating
                                                    Player rating out of ten Player name Substitution Did they score? Player's disciplinary record Rating
                                                    1 Paul Robinson
                                                    18 Bradley Orr
                                                    16 Scott Dann
                                                    5 Gael Givet
                                                    21 Marcus Olsson
                                                    10 Mauro Formica Goal
                                                    8 David Dunn(sub 61)
                                                    35 Jason Lowe
                                                    12 Morten Gamst Pedersen
                                                    23 David Hoilett(sub 81) Goal
                                                    24 Ayegbeni Yakubu(sub 75)
                                                    Substitutes
                                                    34 Jake Kean
                                                    3 Martin Olsson(sub 61)
                                                    9 Anthony Modeste(sub 75)
                                                    14 Radosav Petrovic(sub 81)
                                                    15 Steven Nzonzi
                                                    20 Ruben Rochina
                                                    25 David Goodwillie
                                                    NorwichRating
                                                    Player rating out of ten Player name Did they score? Player's disciplinary record Substitution Rating
                                                    1 John Ruddy
                                                    2 Russell Martin
                                                    33 Ryan Bennett
                                                    22 Elliott Ward
                                                    3 Adam Drury
                                                    17 Elliott Bennett
                                                    24 Jonathan Howson
                                                    11 Andrew Surman
                                                    14 Wesley Hoolahan(sub 58)
                                                    8 James Vaughan(sub 58)
                                                    9 Grant Holt(sub 65)
                                                    Substitutes
                                                    31 Jed Steer
                                                    4 Bradley Johnson
                                                    5 Steve Morison(sub 58)
                                                    12 Anthony Pilkington(sub 58)
                                                    15 David Fox
                                                    21 Aaron Wilbraham(sub 65)
                                                    25 Kyle Naughton

                                                    Match stats

                                                    Team Blackburn Norwich

                                                    Latest columnists