Ah, league football is back, and after a short international break, it brings much anticipation to the rovers faithful.
This weekend sees Tony Mowbray’s squad take on Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa at Ewood Park. The home side will be looking forward to a return of Man in form Bradley Dack, after a short spell out on the sidelines.
For Villa, the match will have a very different feel to it, with much of the clubs fanbase believing Steve Bruce is not the right man to take the club back to the Premiership.
Last time out, both clubs suffered 4-1 losses, with Rovers losing at Ashton Gate and Villa being cut apart by the blades.
Last time the two clubs met was at the tail end of the 16/17 season at Ewood Park, where Rovers were in a relegation battle with Villa’s bitter rivals Birmingham City. That day saw scenes of jubilation from both sets of fans, as Villa were also cheering on Rovers to try and relegate Birmingham.
So, how are we looking for this weekends clash?
Bradley Dack has spoken this week about his eagerness to get back on the pitch for the meet, meaning a boost in midfield is looking likely for the blues.
After an amazing breakthrough season last campaign, Richie Smallwood has unfortunately not been up to the standards of the Championship thus far, and with much competition in midfield this season many Roverites would be happy to see him take a place on the bench.
Predicted starting eleven:
Nyambe Lenihan Mulgrew Bell
Armstrong Dack Bennett
With Ben Brereton having been at the club for a few weeks now, it is thought Mowbray should be willing to give him a start, despite his current goal scoring record.
Harrison Reed is yet to make a mark with the first team, but as aforementioned, Smallwood’s form of late has been nothing to shout home about and it would be nice to see somebody else have a chance to prove themselves at this level.
Aston Villa are a very good side, there’s no doubting that. However, with the toxic feeling going on toward their manager at the moment, compared to our special relationship all round at the club. On top of that we have Dack back in attack and we’re on home soil, a place we haven’t lost a competitive match at since the 16th September of last year. I’d say a 2-1 win in favour of Tony Mowbray’s side.