In a battle between the media and David Bentley for the hyping of the right winger, honours are currently even. In fact, with so much focus on him ahead of tonight’s game, you’d be forgiven for forgetting about the other ten players in their team.
And that would be a mistake – Santa Cruz has already shown us once this season that he is a predatory finisher, and will expose an injury plagued defence, while a powerful midfield could run the game if Flamini’s tigerish bite is replaced with Gilberto’s languid style. And that’s not even mentioning Brad Friedel, capable of miraculous clean sheets on his date.
So anyone who thinks this will be easy is wrong.
Last season, this fixture showcased an incredible attacking force, as Blackburn were blown away 6-2, Robbie Savage particularly humiliated by Cesc’s nutmeg. Savage is now at Derby facing embarrassment on a regular basis, and I expect tonight’s game to bear no resemblance to last year’s.
Frankly, I’d take 1-0, although I think we’ll need at least two to win it.