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Match Previews

Blackburn Rovers Preview

29 August 2023

Match Previews

Blackburn Rovers Preview

29 August 2023

After a return to winning ways on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Morecambe, Town will be hunting a cup upset tomorrow evening when Championship side Blackburn Rovers are the visitors to the Envirovent Stadium in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

The fixture is the first time that the club have hosted a side from the second tier, with League One outfits Blackpool and Portsmouth the previous highest ranked to visit, and Town will be looking to reach round three for the first time in their history.

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Our opponents

Rovers narrowly missed out on play-off spot at the end of last season, finishing in seventh spot and just one place outside the playoff places. In the Carabao Cup they made it through to the fourth round before falling to Nottingham Forest, a run that included a thrilling 10-09 penalty shoot-out win against West Ham.

Following the end of the season there were a number of departures, including top scorer and Chilean international Ben Brereton Diaz, with the club moving to bring in the likes of Niall Enniss and Sondre Tronstad.

So far they have taken seven points from their opening four games, including a 1-0 win at Watford on Saturday and knocked out Town’s fellow League Two side Walsall in round one.

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The man in charge

Rovers are managed by Jon Dahl Tomasson, the former Danish international who guided Malmo to consecutive Swedish titles before heading to Blackburn ahead of the start of last season.

Tomasson enjoyed a stellar playing career earning over 100 caps for Denmark and representing a string of marquee names such as Feyenoord and Milan, earning domestic titles in both Holland and Italy as well winning a UEFA Cup and Champions League title, also starring in the Premier League for Newcastle United.

Ones to watch

Sammie Smodics has found the net twice this season as well as adding an assist. Midfielder Ryan Hedges netted the winner at the weekend and Town will need to be wary of both Adam Wharton and Lewis Travis whilst youngster Harry Leonard will spearhead the attack.

Rovers will hope to have defender Joe Rankin-Costello available after he was forced off with an injury in the victory at Watford.

History

Rovers were founded back in 1875 and were one of the founding members of the Football League, winning five FA Cup finals before the end of the century as well as League titles in 1911/12 and 1913/14.

The 1970’s saw the club relegated twice to the third tier, bouncing back in quick succession to spend most of the 1980’s in the second tier, also winning the Full Members Cup in 1987.

After being taken over by Jack Walker the club gained promotion to the Premier League in 1992 under former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, going on to win the Premier League in 1994/95.

Following Dalglish’s departure they were relegated just four years later, but returned at the end of the 2000/01 season, and won the League Cup in 2002. After 11 seasons back in the top flight under the likes of Mark Hughes and Graeme Souness they were relegated in 2012, before suffering further relegation in 2017. They secured an immediate return to the Championship where they have since remained.

Team news

Midfielder Dean Cornelius misses out with a fractured wrist suffered at Accrington, though Rod McDonald came through 90 minutes against Morecambe unscathed having recovered from a cut to the face.


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