Friedel set for Rovers return
Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes former club Blackburn Rovers will win their fight to stay up.
Last Updated: 06/02/09 9:42am
Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes former club Blackburn will win their fight to stay in the Premier League, but still wants to hand Sam Allardyce his first defeat as Rovers boss.
Friedel returns to Ewood Park on Saturday for the first time since ending a phenomenal eight-year spell last summer to make the move to Villa.
Since then the 37-year-old has helped Martin O'Neill's side climb into the top four, as well as make progress in the Uefa and FA Cups.
A fourth successive clean sheet would give Villa a great chance of extending a club record run of six away wins and threaten Blackburn's nine-match unbeaten start under Allardyce.
Friedel said: "I'm pretty sure Blackburn will stay up, but I just hope they don't start picking up points until after Saturday.
"I had a fantastic eight years there. They have a tremendous set of players and fans and the board have done a great job considering they don't have one of the biggest budgets in the Premier League.
"Every year I was there we had a strong team."
Despite that Friedel opted to seek a new challenge after manager Mark Hughes also left Ewood Park and found the perfect opportunity with re-vitalised Villa.
"I would hope to get a warm reception at Blackburn," Friedel told the Daily Express.
"I never had one bad day there. But it was one of those things. The opportunity to come to Villa arose and I chose to take it.
"My decision to come to Aston Villa was based on meeting the manager and chairman.
"I liked their ambition about where this club could go and the size of it. Aston Villa could potentially be massive."