WITH Blackburn Rovers’ crunch derby against Burnley being live on Sky tomorrow, thousands across East Lancashire will pile into their local to watch the action.

A bumper crowd of more than 20,000 is expected at Ewood Park for the East Lancashire derby.

But with the TV cameras rolling into town, many will enjoy the comforts of the pub while watching the match in which Burnley will attempt to beat their bitter rivals for the first time in 35 years.

Gary Skinner, manager of The Knowles Arms in Pleckgate Road, Blackburn, said he was anticipating quite a few people would watch the game in the pub.

He said: “I am hoping we will get a few in. We often get fans in before the games who go to Ewood so there probably won’t be as many as there were for the away fixture.

“I expect there will be something of a lively atmosphere, which is great as that is what pubs are all about with groups of lads watching their team in action.

“It will probably get busy later on when, hopefully, they come back here to celebrate.”

In Darwen, The Bridgewater pub in Church Street will be opening an hour early so fans can watch the game.

Manager Adam Hulme said: “We are raring to go and expecting a big turnout.

“We will only be allowing Blackburn fans in as it is such a high-profile game.

“It should get the day off to a good start and we will be showing the Manchester City v Wigan match straight afterwards.”

The White Lion in Clitheroe attracts fans from both sides of the derby.

Landlady Claire Ellis said: “Hopefully we’ll have a few in and there will probably be a 50/50 split between Burnley and Rovers fans.

“It should all be good-natured banter, but that could depend on the result!

“We are Rovers fans but for the sake of the pub being peaceful I would prefer a draw.”