Blackburn Rovers host Middlesbrough in the SkyBet Championship on Tuesday evening. Tony Mowbray's side got off to a good start to the campaign, but have just one win in their last five, leaving them in 15th. They lost 2-0 to Swansea last time out.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are reinvigorated under Neil Warnock. They've had just one defeat all season as they attempt to right the wrongs of a woeful campaign last time out. At the weekend, they beat Nottingham Forest in an impressive display.
Blackburn welcomed Stewart Downing back to the club this week after he re-signed on a one-year deal. He could make the squad to face his former club at Ewood Park.
Elsewhere, Mowbray is missing a lot of key men for this tough fixture. Top scorer Adam Armstrong is a major doubt after picking up a hamstring injury.
Rovers are also without the trio of Barry Douglas, Bradley Johnson and Amari'i Bell as they continue their self-isolation period.
Middlesbrough have their own problems, too. Dael Fry may not be risked after he was struck by a bug this week, leaving Nathan Wood to step up in his absence.
Grant Hall returned to training after a lengthy absence from the side, whilst Chuba Akpom is also pushing for a start after some fine form since joining 'Boro.
Ashley Fletcher remains a long-term absentee.
Blackburn Rovers (4-3-3)
Pears; Nyambe, Williams, Lenihan, Rankin-Costello; Trybull, Holtby, Evans; Elliott, Dolan, Gallagher.
Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Wood, McNair; Spence, Tavernier, Howson, Saville, Johnson; Assombalonga, Akpom.
Ones to watch
Blackburn raised eyebrows when they took a leap of faith to sign the Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott on loan this season. But the 17-year-old has been in fine form for Rovers since his debut.
He causes major problems down the right-wing and has already contributed 1 goal and two assists in the second tier.
Impressively, he takes 3.3 key passes per 90minutes he plays and, given he has one of the best strikers in the division to supply in Armstrong, he will rack up many assists this season.
George Saville will be a key man for Neil Warnock's side at Ewood Park. The industrious midfielder has had a strong start to the season, providing goals and assists from midfield, which has never been part of his remit.
First, he is a defensive stopper. He makes 2.3 tackles p90 with a further 1.5 interceptions. This makes him a good Warnock midfielder as he wins the ball back in good areas to begin direct counter-attacks. With Blackburn a possession-based side, Saville's tenacity could be key for 'Boro.
What the managers said
Tony Mowbray addressed the media on his side's current injury woes. He feels as though he cannot risk Adam Armstrong for the game, meaning he will leave out his top goalscorer.
“If it was the last game of the season then we’d probably play him, but I don’t think we will risk him," Mowbray told iFollow Rovers.
“For players who are so fast and explosive, it’s probably best to give him a few days.
“There’s an opportunity for others, with young Dolan chomping at the bit to get back in."
Meanwhile, Warnock is extremely pleased with the energy around his club at the moment. The 71-year-old seems as energised as ever as he spoke the local press this week.
"It will be a tough game, but one we look forward to," he told TeesideLive.
“The club’s buzzing at the moment. The under-23s are top of the league, they’re flying. Under-18s: top of the league, they’re flying.
“There’s a buzz around the whole place at the moment.”
How to watch
Blackburn Rovers vs Middlesbrough is available to watch on SkySportsFootball when it kicks-off at 19:00 BST on Tuesday 3rd November 2020.