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Preview: Blues v Blackburn Rovers

Blues are unbeaten in their last seven games against Blackburn.

BCFC

Blues play their second home game of the week as they welcome Blackburn Rovers to St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Aitor Karanka’s men come into the weekend matchup looking to bounce back from Tuesday night’s loss to Derby County. Likewise, Blackburn will be keen to put their midweek defeat at the hands of Huddersfield Town behind them as the two sides meet for the 129th time.

The Sky Bet Championship clash is Blues’ first of 2021 and for both sides, its completion will mark the halfway point of the season.

It also mirrors Blues’ second fixture in B9 of the previous year. At the start of 2020, it was a Third Round FA Cup tie against Rovers that ended 2-1 in the home side’s favour, meaning Blues are unbeaten in their last seven games against Blackburn.

The last league meeting between the two teams came a week earlier at Ewood Park and ended in a 1-1 draw with Kerim Mrabti on the scoresheet for Blues.

THE OPPOSITION:

Eye-catching and entertaining, Blackburn are the division's joint top scorers under a manager – Tony Mowbray – who has a reputation for playing an expansive brand of football and is approaching four years in charge of the Lancashire club. However, thumping wins in successive matches over Wycombe Wanderers and Derby County by an aggregate score of 9-0 seem a distant memory as the glut of goals has begun to slow up.

Prior to this slowing up, the Championship’s second top scorer Adam Armstrong had found the net 14 times and in early Winter his goals helped Rovers to a seven-game unbeaten run in which they won four times. But, with the former Newcastle academy product scoring just once since, their only win in six has come over second from bottom Rotherham United.

Such a spell coincides with a run of nine matches without a clean sheet, as, whilst boasting a strong attacking line that includes Liverpool loanee Harvey Elliott, Blackburn have one of the league’s leakiest backlines. Despite this, Blackburn have already kept a clean sheet at St. Andrew’s this season, on an afternoon when they also stuck four past ten-man Coventry City.

This inconsistency leaves the former Premier League winners in mid-table and going into the game versus Blues in 14th place, eight points outside the play-off places.

LAST TIME OUT:

Blues were unable to build on the point earnt away at Nottingham Forest when they hosted Derby County in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Three goals from the Rams in the space of ten first-half minutes did the damage. Both Krystian Bielik and Colin Kazim-Richards notched from corners either side of Graeme Shinnie’s penalty. Blues looked to fight back after the break and created a series of chances before Jason Knight added Derby’s fourth.

Blackburn also tasted defeat in their most recent outing as they let slip a point on the road at Huddersfield Town. Seemingly leaving Yorkshire with a draw after Sam Gallagher’s 86th-minute effort had cancelled out Naby Sarr’s opener, Rovers contrived to lose with the Senegalese defender scoring his and the Terriers’ second as the clock struck 90.

WE MEET AGAIN:

Blues 2 Blackburn Rovers 1, 04 January 2020

Blues host Blackburn for the second January in a row after the teams faced off in last year’s FA Cup.

The all-Championship affair started brightly for Blues and as early as the fourth minute Dan Crowley’s run and shot brought the opening goal.

However, a much-changed Blues team were pegged back and reduced to ten men with an hour played. Ivan Sunjic was sent off for a foul in the area on former Blues striker Gallagher before Armstrong beat Lee Camp from the resulting spot-kick.

The swing of momentum suggested Rovers would go on to win the game, but after wasting a number of chances, Blues snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Jeremie Bela was unopposed as he entered the visitor’s box and calmly side-footed the ball under Jayson Leutwiler to send his team into round four.

BLUES TEAM NEWS:

Zach Jeacock (ankle), Caolan Boyd-Munce (thigh), Josh McEachran (groin), Alen Halilović, Marc Roberts (ankle), Gary Gardner (hamstring) are all out through injury.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Blues wins: 48

Draws: 34

Blackburn wins: 46

LAST FIVE MEETINGS:

FA Cup 04 Jan 2020 – Blues 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

Championship 26 Dec 2019 – Blackburn Rovers 1 Blues 1

Championship 22 Oct 2019 – Blues 1 Blackburn Rovers 0

Championship 23 Feb 2019 – Blues 2 Blackburn 2

Championship 15 Dec 2018– Blackburn Rovers 2 Blues 2

BLUESTV:

Supporters can watch this game live on BluesTV for only £10.


MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee – Gavin Ward

Assistant Referees - Michael George and Craig Taylor

Fourth Official - Tom Reeves

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