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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 26 January 2021
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Preview: Rovers striker targets a hat-trick against United

Blackburn are aiming to repeat the shock win they had at Old Trafford in January tonight.

On a mission: Yakubu.
On a mission: Yakubu.
Image: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

BLACKBURN ROVERS WILL be hoping history repeats itself when they host English Premier League leaders Manchester United tonight.

Rovers recorded a shock 3-2 win against United at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve, but currently sit three points clear of the relegation zone following their loss to Bolton Wanderers last week.

Aiyegbeni Yakubu scored twice that day and the 29-year-old has backed himself to make it three this time around.

“Scoring against United is always special — they’re one of the biggest clubs in the world,” the Nigerian striker told The Sun.

After I get my first goal I always feel I can go on and get a second. That’s what happened at Old Trafford. Maybe I can do it again — to go one better and get a hat-trick against United.”

United have won their last six Premier League starts and lead local rivals Manchester City by two points on top of the table with a game in hand.

With eight matches remaining, Mexican forward Javier Hernandez knows the equation is simple for United, who, along with City, have bowed out of all cup competitions this season.

“It’s a part of the season that all the players want to be involved in,” Hernandez told ESPN. “It’s a long season so these final few games are more emotional for everyone, but we have a big chance to win the Premier League again.

“We’re in a great position because it depends on us – if we win all our games, we’ll win the league.

We’re not in Europe so we’ll probably be a little bit fitter, because we’re only playing each weekend and have long weeks to rest and prepare for each game.”

Rovers have won three and lost just one of their last five games at home, while United are aiming for their first win at Ewood Park since October 2008.

However United have lost only one of their last 16 Premier League away games and are hopeful that striker Wayne Rooney can add to his tally of 17 goals in his last 17 appearances in all competitions.

Rooney has scored four goals in his last five outings against Blackburn, while at the other end Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who scored twice against United in December, has netted 14 times this season.

Rovers boss Steve Kean has named the same side for the past three matches and could do so again, although Frenchman Gael Givet may return for the home team following his spell with a hamstring injury.

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