One in, one out for Blackburn

Blackburn Rovers hope to welcome back club captain Ryan Nelsen to their squad for Wednesday’s meeting with Tottenham at Ewood Park.

The New Zealand defender, who recently committed his future to the English Premier League club, has returned to training after shaking off the knee injury which ruled him out of Rovers’ last two games.

Manager Steve Kean will be without star striker Roque Santa Cruz, however, after the Paraguay international limped out of Saturday’s FA Cup defeat away to Aston Villa.

On-loan Manchester City man Santa Cruz suffered a groin strain in the early exchanges at Villa Park and is expected to be out of action for up to two weeks.

Gael Givet is also likely to miss out with a groin problem he picked up in training.

The French full-back will have a late fitness test before being considered for selection.

Rovers are bolstered by the return of Brett Emerton after his Asian Cup duties with Australia came to an end, while fellow midfield trio Steven Nzonzi, Keith Andrews and Vince Grella will all be hoping to get more match time under their belts after lengthy lay-offs.

New signings Mauro Formica and Ruben Rochina – who agreed long-term deadline day deals from Argentina outfit Newell’s Old Boys and La Liga powerhouse Barcelona respectively – are not expected to feature due to a lack of match practice.

“I’ve got a big squad and a lot of selection issues to deal with as we go in search of a fourth-straight home win,” said Kean, whose side has beaten West Brom, QPR and Liverpool in their last three games at Ewood Park.

“I went to see Tottenham in action at Fulham the other day (which Spurs lost 4-0) and I would expect (Spurs manager) Harry Redknapp will be looking for a reaction from his side.”

“So we will have to be wary of that and stand up to the challenge.”

“However, no team gets an easy game at Ewood Park and we will be looking to protect our proud home record.”

“It should be an attacking and exciting game, and one that the players and the fans are all looking forward to.”