Hull City face a daunting task in their effort to pull away from the Championship relegation zone on Wednesday night when they welcome high-flying Blackburn Rovers to the MKM Stadium for the televised clash. While The Tigers are looking to stay in the division, Rovers could find themselves top of the Championship should they take all three points although they would also need Birmingham City to do them a favour on Tuesday evening against Fulham.
Sheffield based official Thomas Bramall will oversee the fixture. Bramall is in his third year on the National Referee List and made his Championship debut in March 2021 when he took charge of Luton Town vs Preston North End.
Hull go into the televised clash without a number of first-teamers including Lewie Coyle, Callum Elder, Alfie Jones and Mallik Wilks although midfielder Richie Smallwood is in line for a recall to face his former club and could be joined by former West Ham man George Moncur who is also in line for a return to first XI action.
Blackburn will be without right-back Ryan Nyambe after he was sent off in the weekend's 1-0 away win over Cardiff City which means academy graduate Joe Rankin-Costello may deputise on the right hand side of the Rovers defence. In addition to the suspended Nyambe, Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray is without the services of the injured Bradley Dack, Harry Pickering and Ian Poveda-Ocampo.
Hull: Baxter (GK), Bernard, Greaves, McLoughlin, Longman, Moncur, Smallwood, Lewis-Potter, Honeyman, Smith, Eaves.
Blackburn: Kaminski (GK), Hecke, Lenihan, Wharton, Rankin-Costello, Travis, Rothwell, Edun, Buckley, Khadra, Brereton Diaz.
Ones to watch
It's perhaps emblematic of Hull’s goalscoring problems that their top scorer so far this season has only netted on six occasions this term. Despite their status as the division's lowest scorers, Keane Lewis-Potter has led the way for The Tigers with his six strikes as well as weighing in with three assists.
Chilean international striker Ben Brereton Diaz has spearheaded Blackburn’s promotion challenge with a superb 20 goals from his 28 appearances this season. These scoring stats have reportedly won him a string of Premier League admirers and prior to tomorrow's game leaves him second in the Championship top scorer table with only Aleksandr Mitrovic of Fulham ahead of him.
Hull currently find themselves in the middle of a poor run of form as they are currently without a win from their last six league and cup outings. To further compound Grant McCann's misery, the team were able to muster just one shot on target as they fell to a pitiful 2-0 home defeat to Stoke City on Sunday.
By contrast, Blackburn have won five from their last six fixtures with their only defeat coming in the third round of the FA Cup when they went down 3-2 away at Wigan Athletic. Joe Rothwell was on target at the weekend as Rovers came away from relegation-threatened Cardiff City with a 1-0 win to keep up their promotion challenge.
The historical form guide points towards a Blackburn victory as they have prevailed five times from their last six meetings against The Tigers. The last time Hull managed to secure a win over Rovers was in January 2018 when they came away from Ewood Park 1-0 winners in an FA Cup third round clash.
What the managers have said
Hull manager Grant McCann was in no mood for sugar-coating when it came to his assessment of the manner of his side's defeat to Stoke City at the weekend. Speaking to BBC Radio Humberside McCann had this to say.
"We were nowhere near good enough and got out of the game what we deserved. But I have an honest and young group of players who know when they have not performed. They don't need me shouting and screaming at them.
”They just need to make sure they are better in the next game, because too many of them were off their game. It was a poor performance from start to finish. There were mistakes made for their goals, but this game was not about individuals. We weren't good enough collectively."
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray was quick to express his displeasure with the decision that led to Ryan Nyambe's dismissal in the win over Cardiff but was full of praise for how his side dug deep and adapted to being on the wrong end of the numerical advantage in South Wales. Mowbray went on record with Jaquob Crooke of LancsLive and said:
“It was an accumulation. I’ve had Ryan for five years and he’s the nicest lad you could meet, he hasn’t got a red card in him. Yet the fact that every tackle was a booking meant an accumulation and a red card for Ryan.
“We adapted well, adjusted, they put (Aden) Flint up top, we put Ayala on and we saw it out. There were some great blocks at the end, Kaminski took some great pressure off by taking a couple of long balls and we saw the game out. Happy with the points, it was a difficult game, a bit scrappier than we would have normally liked. But however you get three points it’s important and we managed to get them today.”
How to watch
Blackburn's visit to the MKM Stadium has been selected for television coverage and will be shown live on Sky Sports Football with coverage starting at 19:15 GMT.
Overseas viewers should check with local broadcasters for details of coverage but as an alternative, fans outside of the UK can purchase a match pass from the EFL's streaming service iFollow. Supporters should check either team's website for further availability information.