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Match Previews

BLACKBURN ROVERS PREVIEW

28 December 2021

Everything you need to know ahead of our trip to Ewood Park!

The Reds are in action for the final time in 2021, this Wednesday night as we head across the pennines to take on high-flying Blackburn Rovers.

Following the postponement of our scheduled Boxing Day clash with Stoke City, owing to their issues with COVID-19 cases and injuries in their squad, it means the Reds will have gone 12 days without football. 

Our hosts also saw their trip to Hull City cancelled on Boxing Day, but right at the last minute which might well have hampered their planning. So they too will be well rested heading into Wednesday evening's Roses clash. 

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Barnsley have lost just one of their last four fixtures, but are still yet to register three points under Poya Asbaghi. The Swede is set to be without captain, Cauley Woodrow for a second consecutive fixture, as he's still out with a knee injury, whilst the game will also come too soon for defender Aapo Halme. 

Belgian forward Obbi Oularé is the other definite absentee, as he recovers from his latest injury setback.

If we don't take into account the potential likelihood of any further COVID cases, the head coach does have a fairly strong squad to select from, in terms of numbers. And with extra time on the training ground these last couple of weeks, the boss might well look to change things in search of that elusive first victory.

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But he will have to do so against the form team in the Sky Bet Championship.

If the Reds were last season's surprise package, then it's probably fair to say similar about Tony Mowbray's boys in blue and white. 

Rovers have won eight of their last 10 fixtures. They've won five of them in a row now, without conceding a goal. 

It's been some turnaround, considering their terrible run in October, shortly after drawing 0-0 against the Reds at Oakwell. 

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They've lost just two games on home soil. November's 7-0 hammering by league leaders, Fulham and a 2-1 loss to West Brom in August, who also topped the division at the time of that particular fixture.

One of the league's longest-serving managers, Mowbray is entering his fifth year in charge of the former Premier League title winners. 

Usually operating within a 3-5-2 system, Rovers have a decent blend of youth and experience, and have a couple of stars on-loan from Brighton, in forward Reda Khadra and centre half Jan Paul van Hecke. 

Academy products litter their first team also, with the likes of Ryan Nyambe, Scott Wharton, Lewis Travis and Joe Buckley all regular starters in a vibrant, attacking Rovers outfit. 

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And up front they've managed to forget all about Adam Armstrong, sold for big money to the Premier League, by seeing Ben Brereton-Diaz finally delivering the performances his talent always suggested was likely, at a young age. 

The Chilean international has 19 goals to his name this season, having previously struggled for the club since arriving nearly three years ago now in a big money move from Nottingham Forest.

We last travelled to Ewood Park in November of last year, and despite dominating the game almost entirely, the Reds suffered a 2-1 defeat, with Romal Palmer's consolation his first goal for the club. 

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Our last three points at the same venue in April of 2017, as goals from Marc Roberts and Marley Watkins saw us to a 2-0 win, a result that went some way to seeing Rovers relegated at the end of that campaign.

The man in the middle on Wednesday evening will be Dean Whitestone. This will be the Northamptonshire referee's first time taking charge of a game this season for either club. 

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He last took control of a Reds fixture almost a year ago now, a 2-1 Barnsley victory over Preston North End at Oakwell. 

Reds supporters are able to buy audio match passes via iFollow Barnsley. 

Fans can enjoy live commentary, with a match pass priced at £2.50.

For further information on iFollow for this season, and how to activate seasonal subscriptions, please click the link below. 

iFollow


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