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Nelsen believes Blackburn can challenge for European place

| 10.08.2010

Ryan Nelsen believes that the stability within the Blackburn squad can help them challenge for a European place this season.

Blackburn are 9/5 to take three points from their first game at home to Everton in a reverse of the opening fixture of the 2008/09 campaign.

David Dunn grabbed the first goal on that occasion as Blackburn claimed a 3-2 win at Goodison Park and it is 25/1 for a repeat of that scoreline this time around.

However, captain Nelsen is also focused on some longer-term goals and feels that the team has the capability of challenging in the top half of the table, especially as Morten Gamst Pedersen and Phil Jones recently signed new deals.

He said: “We are well capable of qualifying for Europe. We have good stability in the team.

“It is extremely obvious we need new people in certain positions but the stability that the signings of Morten Gamst Pedersen, Phil Jones and the rest bring is hugely important for the club.”

One problem that Blackburn will need to resolve if they are to improve on last season’s tenth-place finish is to score more goals, as they only managed 41 in 38 league games during the most recent campaign.

Dunn is the 7/4 favourite to finish as Blackburn’s top team goalscorer, while Nikola Kalinic and Jason Roberts are 2/1.

Blackburn are 15/8 to finish in the top ten for the second year in succession, while they are 14/1 to regain a spot in the top six for the first time since the 2005/06 season.

Meanwhile, another season struggling for goals could lead to them battling to avoid relegation and they are 5/1 to finish in the bottom three.

Blackburn lost both games against Everton last season and David Moyes’ team are 6/4 to collect the three points again.



Ed Needham