Blues versus Blackburn…
Last season’s Blackburn match had me wittering on about Rowett’s first 29 matches in charge with twelve wins in total. He’s added handsomely to that tally this season, but we’ve Grounds (ahem) to a bit of a halt of late. We really need to win this evening match to retain any hope of staying in the playoff spots with a realistic shot at promotion this season. We probably have been ‘punching above our weight’ this season, but we can’t let complacency set in, now we’ve come so far.
Blackburn are presently fifteenth, fourteen matches in, whilst we’re nine points and coincidentally nine places ahead in the Championship table. Recent form, following our back-to-back defeats to Hull and the Dogheads, isn’t what we’re used to under Rowett. Yes, we’ll have the odd defeat like any other team but we have usually ‘bounced back’, so Rowett is going to have to ‘ring in the changes’ you’d think, with options like Spector returning to defensive duties, to shore up the backline and the reintroduction of Toral to add some bite to our attack…
Blackburn beat Leeds 2-0 in their most recent fixture, so won’t be a team licking its wounds like Wolves were, but they certainly belied their lowly position to pull off a creditable away victory. This ended a three match winless run, a loss against MK Dons, a good draw against Derby and a defeat to Burnley.
There are no former Blues players at Ewood Park to look out for, so save your loudest “WHO?” for Nathan Delfouneso who used to ply his trade at Randy Lerner’s managerial career wrecking department.
My predictions have been awful of late, so I’ll go for a tight 1-1 draw, the goal to come from Toral, in the hope it lifts Blues to win fairly comfortably.
Robinson’s recent rise in form has appeared to falter, so slotting Spector back into defence may be prudent, Shinnie seems to be the preferred choice of Rowett but Toral’s early season starts suggested more was expected of him, so perhaps now’s his time to shine? Whilst Maghoma has overtaken Cotterill in terms of total pitch time this season, I’d suspect we’ll be better off, the quicker Cotts returns to full fitness! Certainly we’ve missed his set-piece threat of late.
Davis is the only other player who could feel aggrieved not to have been starting with more regularity this season, but can he displace Kieftenbeld or Gleeson? I don’t think so and I suspect he’ll be the player to make way for the likes of Shinnie or Toral as Rowett looks to bring us back to winning ways against a side – Leeds win or not – we should be beating to keep our eyes on the higher echelons this season.
Keep Right On!