Blackburn Rovers vs Bristol City preview: Both sides looking to climb into the top six
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Blackburn Rovers' Darragh Lenihan under pressure from Bristol City's Famara Diedhiou during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers at Ashton Gate on December 14, 2019 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Kevin Barnes - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City will both be hoping for positive results for the first weekend back of Championship football as they hover just outside the play-off places.

Neither side were in particularly great form before the halt in play and it may be a blessing in disguise if they can pick back up during the run-in. Rovers are without a win in their last four games while the Robins are without a win in their last five, losing three of those games. 

Key Battle

The key battle in this game will be Adam Armstrong against Tomas Kalas. Robins defender Kalas will have his hands full with the pace and power that Armstrong has. 

The forward has netted 11 times this term and will be hoping to carry on his good form at the weekend as he comes into this game with three goals in his last six games. 

Kalas may well look to his fellow defenders to help him deal with Armstrong as he is so electric and keeps the ball close to him when running at defenders, making him a nightmare the deal with.

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Previous Meeting

Rovers came out victorious in the previous meeting between these two sides with a 2-0 victory.

Midfielder Bradley Johnson opened the scoring after only two minutes with an assist for Lewis Holtby. The Robins never really troubled Blackburn as they only registered one shot on target all game.

Armstrong came off the bench to seal the win for Rovers in the second half and they will have to try and deal with him again on Saturday.

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Team News 

Blackburn have injury issues at full-back with Amari'i Bell and Darragh Lenihan out as well as Greg Cunningham returning to Cardiff City which could mean Mowbray asking one of the more experienced heads to provide cover such as the likes of Stewart Downing.

John Buckley will play no part for the hosts after seeing red against Derby County last time out.

Bristol City will be hoping Nahki Wells and Andreas Weimann can get themselves fit and ready after both missing out on the last warm-up game.

Predicted line-ups

Blackburn Rovers XI: Walton; Bennett, Nyambe, Adarabioyo, Downing; Travis, Johnson; Gallagher, Dack, Rothwell; Armstrong.

Bristol City XI: Bentley; Pereira, Kalas, Benkovic, Dasilva; Paterson, Smith, Massengo, Eliasson; Palmer; Diedhiou.

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Players' Thoughts

On loan Blackburn defender Tosin Adarabiayo spoke to the Blackburn Rovers website and said that the team are "ready to go" ahead of the final nine games. 

“There’s only a few days until our game against Bristol City, we’re all really looking forward to it.

“There were points where you did think that the season would get cancelled," he added following a near three month period without a decision being made.

"But we’re all here now, we’re all ready and we’re all looking forward to the games.

“We wanted to finish the season but we wanted to do it safely. We feel that’s been done now so it’s time to look forward at what’s ahead of us."