WHAT do Rovers and England have in common, apart from David Bentley?

Well, both have tougher games coming up than their last relatively easy encounters.

England will surely find Russia a tougher nut to crack than a very poor Israel and Rovers have to face a Chelsea team smarting from a defeat against Villa.

Should Rovers get so much as a point from The Bridge on Saturday evening, it would probably be regarded as Mourinho's first "crisis" so you can be sure that the atmosphere will be highly charged.

It will be a tough ask for Rovers as it is for any team playing Chelsea these days in their own backyard. Their unbeaten home record goes back goodness knows how long and it really has become a fortress in recent seasons.

It was not always thus, however, and it may surprise younger Rovers fans to learn that Stamford Bridge was, until the Special One's era, one of Blackburn's "lucky" away venues where we remained unbeaten in the Premiership for many years.

We certainly owe Chelsea one after that narrow defeat (our last one, of course) in the semis at Old Trafford. Wouldn't it be poetic justice if we could beat them with a Pedersen header in the last few minutes?

Life, never mind football, is rarely so accommodating, but leaving aside all questions of fate or superstition, I believe Rovers fans can approach this game confident in the knowledge that we have a side who will compete and give a good account of themselves against a team which has been assembled at a king's ransom, except in this case the king isn't even a Czar, but rather a young businessman who I hope will be leaving his seat early again as at Villa Park.

Shaun Wright-Phillips' goal, and bright performance against Israel, probably means that David Bentley's involvement against Russia will probably be limited once again to a cameo substitute's role.

At least he's now got that all important first cap and I expect it to be the first of many.

Let's all hope England can get the win against Russia (will the Chelsea contingent get dirty looks from their paymaster if they perform too well?) which will make qualification for the European Championships likely.

That should provide opportunities for not only David but if there's any justice, Steven Warnock and possibly even David Dunn, if he continues to progress as he's been doing this season and looking much more like the player who broke into the England team when he was last at Blackburn.

Emile Heskey has shown that anything is possible!

In the absence of the "big boys" fixtures, I suspect I was not alone amongst Blues fans in rooting for our local League Two sides, Accrington Stanley and Morecambe this last weekend. And what good results for both!

I wish I'd had the courage of my early morning convictions and stuck a tenner on the double.

I was especially pleased for Stanley who've struggled a bit so far. A 4-1 pasting of Grimsby was a great boost, but unless the town gets behind their team, it's likely that history will repeat itself and the euphoria of having a League side again will be short lived.

Whether you're from Blackburn, Accrington or Burnley, it's right to support your own.

The fact that there are probably nearly as many Chelsea and Man Yoo shirts parading around our towns as those belonging to our local sides is, to me, very sad.

Let's face it, the only justification for being a Burnley fan is a connection with the town. And wouldn't you rather meet someone from Burnley who followed the Clarets than Man Yoo?

I know it's a sad fate but at least it's an honourable one!