In Focus: Blackburn Rovers

17 August 2018
We take a closer look at our next opponents Blackburn Rovers ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash at the KCOM Stadium…

Blackburn Rovers
Nickname: Rovers
Founded: 1875

Stadium: Ewood Park
Distance from the KCOM Stadium: 110.9 miles (1 hours 56 minutes)

Manager: After being appointed manager in February 2017 and narrowly failing to keep the Club in the Championship at the end of that campaign, Tony Mowbray inspired an immediate return to the second tier last season, playing an attractive brand of football and finishing just two points behind League One champions Wigan Athletic. The former Middlesbrough boss has won just over half of his games in charge in Lancashire, meaning he currently has a 52% win ratio.

Tony Mowbray’s Managerial Record at Blackburn Rovers: P73 W38 D23 L12

Star Man: Bradley Dack is without doubt the standout player in Blackburn Rovers’ squad – a statement underpinned by the fact he was named League One Player of the Year last season. A £750,000 signing from Gillingham last summer, the midfielder went on to 16 goals in 36 league matches in 2017/18 and laid on countless assists for his teammates. The 24-year old is sure to be a key figure for Rovers once again this season.

Form Guide: Blackburn have made a solid start to the new season with back-to-back Championship draws against Ipswich Town and Millwall before registering a first win of the campaign with a convincing Carabao Cup victory over Carlisle United in midweek. Bradley Back scored two and assisted two as Rovers inflicted a 5-1 defeat on the League Two side with Adam Armstrong (2) and Kasey Palmer also on the scoresheet.

Formation: Tony Mowbray is a manager that is not afraid to switch formation from game to game, and utilised a number of different systems throughout last season as Rovers secured promotion back to the Championship. However, it was the 4-2-3-1 formation that Mowbray opted to use most regularly and that is how he has set his side up for the opening two Championship games of this season. They are a far more solid outfit than they were the last time they were in the division and will not be an easy team to play against for any side. Mowbray is a very experienced manager and has done a fantastic job at Ewood Park since being appointed as the club’s manager towards the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

Line-Up: It looks as though Mowbray has already got a relatively settled starting line-up for this season. They did not make many new signings this summer, bring in just Adam Armstrong from Newcastle United on a permanent deal as well as the loan arrivals of Jacob Davenport and Kasey Palmer from Manchester City and Chelsea respectively. Mowbray revealed he has no fresh injury concerns for the trip to East Yorkshire in his pre-match press conference and expects both Danny Graham and Elliott Bennett, who weren’t involved in their Carabao Cup win over Carlisle United, to be back in contention. However, Derrick Williams, Ben Gladwin and Davenport miss out through injury.

Tactics: When Mowbray first arrived at the club, he had a limited of games left in the 2016/17 campaign to try and keep Rovers in the Championship. This is something that he came very close to achieving, just missing out on survival on the final day of the season. The battling style of play that he has implemented at Ewood Park has not always been appreciated by the club’s supporters, shown by the fact that they were booed off at half-time in February, despite the fact they were top of League One at the time. However, there is no doubt that his approach has been a success in getting Rovers back to the Championship and has made them much more competitive in the second division already. They have a lot of attacking threat with the likes of Bradley Dack, Kasey Palmer and Danny Graham who can be very exciting to watch when at the top of their game.

Head-To-Head: The two sides have met 61 times in league and cup football with the Tigers claiming 15 victories, as opposed to Blackburn’s total of 29, with 17 encounters ending all square.

Last Visit To The KCOM Stadium: Hull City 1 Blackburn Rovers 1 | Sat 26th Sept 2015
Jordan Rhodes’s injury-time equaliser rescued struggling Blackburn Rovers to deny the Tigers all three points.

Abel Hernández came closest to making the breakthrough in a goalless first half as he nodded Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross narrowly wide, but the Uruguayan made no mistake when breaking the deadlock 17 minutes from time when finishing off a swift counter-attack.

Chuba Akpom and Shaun Maloney both wasted chances to seal all the win for Steve Bruce’s side but neither could hit the target and they were made to pay for the misses when Rhodes rose unchallenged to send a header past Allan McGregor.

Did You Know: Blackburn hold the FA record for the longest undefeated FA Cup run, going 24 games unbeaten between 1884-86 (which included the three FA Cup wins).

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