Two teams at opposite ends of the table, but with comparatively sized problems go in search of an elusive victory when (three consecutive defeats) Blackburn host (one point from their last 12) Liverpool, on Tuesday night in the Premier League.

The second coming of “King” Kenny Dalglish may have brought Liverpool a trophy, thanks to a penalty shootout in the Carling Cup but at a time of press Liverpool are eighth in the Barclays Premier League. They languish behind local rivals Everton by a point and are (a humongous) 16Andy Carrolpoints adrift of “little” Newcastle. It’s worth mentioning that Liverpool will start Tuesday night’s clash 34 points off the league leaders (Manchester United), that will be why the Merseyside club are currently 284/1 to record a top four finish and 25/1 to record a top six finish (but still 1/16 for a top ten spot).

Blackburn recently fought hard to claw their way out of the relegation zone thanks to a decent run of form but have now lost three games back-to-back. They can take heart from the fact that while they’re in the relegation zone they are theoretically just a point away from getting out of it as they share 28 points with both 19th place Wigan and 17th place QPR; and are just a point worse off than 16th place Bolton who have a worse goal difference.

Time for a coup de grace or a good time to face the Reds?

In Liverpool’s last eight league games they have garnered just four points, scoring nine goals and conceding 13. What’s more Liverpool have only won at Ewood Park once in their last five games there, but are still 10/11 to take all three points form the match while a victory for Blackburn is an outside bet with the bookies at soccer odds of 14/5.

Looking at the head-to-head stats, Blackburn have only won one of their last five meetings with Liverpool but that was a 3-1 home victory back in January 2011 and if you feel history will repeat itself you can get odds of 28/1 on that score being replicated. There have been two draws in the last five meetings between these two sides, including one at Liverpool on Boxing Day earlier this season (but doesn’t everyone expect to catch a draw at Anfield these days)?

I fear that a draw this time round would be very cold comfort to either side. Blackburn need three points desperately to give them a chance of surviving the drop, while Liverpool would have to deal with an eighth league game without victory (from their last nine) if they took anything less than three points home with them. A draw is offered up at 12/5 and 1-1 has the shortest odds for a correct score bet at 11/2

Both sides will be at less than full strength due to disciplinary punishments. Rovers will be without Anthony Modeste following his red card against West Brom on Saturday, becoming the fifth player to be sent off for Blackburn this season. A disciplinary record only “bested” by QPR (with seven reds to their name). Liverpool will still be missing their first choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina who received a red card for his head-butt on Newcastle’s James Perch, in one of Liverpool’s recent defeats. What could be considerably more telling for this clash is the fact that Liverpool have an FA Cup semi-final against local rivals Everton to prepare for and may be tempted to rest key players ahead of next  Saturday’s match.

Things can only get better…

Despite Liverpool’s woes (since the turn of the year they have won only two games in the league) they have won more games away from home than they have at Anfield and have hit the woodwork 28 times in the Premier League, nine more times than any other team this season

Blackburn are now 10/11 to be relegated and Steve Kean (who is weathering the managerial storm with a resilience and dignity uncommon in the modern game) is now 10/1 to be the next EPL manager to leave his job, behind Harry Redknapp, Roberto Martinez, Alex McLeish and bookies’ favourites King Kenny and Roberto (no cigar) Mancini (both at 4/1).  The sportsbooks have the best soccer betting odds on the half time / full time result at 2/1 for Liverpool taking both halves.

I’d avoid backing a Liverpool comeback as the Scousers have won just one of the 13 Premier League games that they have conceded the first goal in this season. If you’re feeling brave (or foolish) back Blackburn making hay from Liverpool’s problems and back Rovers to take both halves at 9/2. Also Blackburn know that they can become masters of their own destiny as the two teams directly below them, Wigan and Wolves host Manchester United and Arsenal (respectively) on Tuesday while QPR (tied on points, but with a superior goal difference to Rovers) host in-form Swansea on Wednesday night. It’s not unthinkable, football being what it is, that Blackburn could find themselves three points clear of the relegation zone after these round of games, but I’m not betting on it.

Blackburn have lost ten home games this season, conceding 29 goals along the way and they have only managed one win and six points from the 20 matches in which they conceded the opening goal this season, the joint worst record in the division. I expect Liverpool to be quick out of the blocks and take the game to Rovers, getting an early advantage and a decent scoreline.

Soccer Picks: Liverpool win 3-1 at 14/1