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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

28 September 2019 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Rovers v Luton Town

A look ahead to today's battle against The Hatters as Rovers look to make it a super September

28 September 2019

Rovers return to action later today when Luton Town make the trip to Ewood Park for game number nine of the Championship season.

Whilst the hosts come into the game off the back of consecutive September victories, the latest of which came at Reading last weekend, The Hatters have had a tricky start to life back in the second tier.

Following back-to-back promotions, alongside the summer appointment of Graeme Jones, today's visitors come into today's game in 21st place in the table.

They've lose their last two league games and suffered a heavy home defeat to Leicester City in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Although they do score goals, with only seven teams finding the net on more occasions than Jones' men, they do concede at the other end - only basement pair Huddersfield Town and Stoke City have shipped more than the 16 that Luton have conceded so far this term.

The player to keep an eye on this afternoon is hitman James Collins, who has four goals already this campaign in the Championship.

The frontman was the league's top marksman in 2018-19 and earned the Player of the Year award for League One after firing Town to promotion back to the second tier.

In terms of team news, Tony Mowbray has mainly a full fit squad to choose from for the clash, with Ben Brereton the only definite absentee for the game.

Tosin Adarabioyo and Joe Rothwell both missed out on the squad against Reading due to injury and illness respectively, but are both expected to be fit and available to the boss for the game today.

Greg Cunningham is expected to keep his spot at left back, with Elliott Bennett, set for his 150th appearance for the club, on the other flank as Mowbray looks set to opt for a back four.

Lewis Holtby could be pushing for a start and a home debut in blue-and-white after impressing in his 20 minutes cameo at The Madejski Stadium.

He could get the nod, with a three-game week to come over the next seven days, with Mowbray likely to rotate his squad a little, with Nottingham Forest to come on Tuesday night.

Christian Walton is set to start against one of his former clubs as he looks to earn a fourth successive clean sheet at Ewood Park.

The last time we saw a goal go against us on home turf in the league was on the opening day of the campaign.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 3pm and you can track all the action via iFollow Rovers and across our social media accounts.

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 1-2 Luton Town

Rovers suffer a defeat on home turf against a resolute Hatters in the East Lancashire rain

28 September 2019

Lewis Travis' first home goal wasn't enough as Rovers suffered a narrow defeat to Luton Town at Ewood Park.

The midfielder produced a thunderous finish to level things up after James Collins' header had handed the visitors an early lead in the East Lancashire drizzle.

But despite mainly bossing the game, it was Rovers Academy graduate Matty Pearson whose header proved to be the differece on his return to Ewood Park.

Rovers pushed for a late equaliser against Graeme Jones' side, who managed to run the clock down and return to Bedfordshire with all three points.

The boss made just one change to his team from the side that started at Reading a week earlier, with Corry Evans dropping out due to illness, which allowed Bradley Johnson to return to the XI.

Rovers started on the front foot, but is was the visitors who had the first opportunity of the game, with Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown forcing Christian Walton into a low stop down to his right.

The hosts were bossing possession, but it was Luton who struck first through Collins' fifth goal of the campaign.

Brown skipped past Lewis Travis before delivering a ball into the box that was planted home via the head of Collins from six yards out.

Rovers looked for a response, with Johnson driving wide of the target 10 minutes before the break as Mowbray's men searched for shoots of recovery.

Town were frustrating Rovers, but the equaliser arrived in stunning style by Travis for his first senior strike at Ewood.

After being set up by Elliott Bennett, the 21-year-old took a touch before setting his sights and superbly curling an effort across visiting stopper Simon Sluga and into the back of the net.

The goal gave Rovers life going into the second half, but Walton again had to be alert to deny Brown after the visitors sprung a quick counter attack early into the half.

But a moment later another delivery from Brown led to Pearson coming back to haunt the club where he started his career.

After Greg Cunningham gave away a free kick on the right, Brown's ball into the box was a teasing one and Pearson rose above Darragh Lenihan and thump a downward header beyond Walton and into the bottom corner just before the hour mark.

A double switch saw Danny Graham and Lewis Holtby enter the action for the final half hour, replacing Sam Gallagher and Johnson.

The hosts almost grabbed an immediate equaliser soon after, but Downing's free kick whistled just past Sluga's right-hand post as the opportunity came and went.

Graham was straight into the action and he came close to leveling things up from Bennett's low ball in, but Sluga was there again to hold the half-volley.

Holtby's near post strike flew just an inch or two wide of the target before Adam Armstrong drove into the Darwen End after a ball over the top found the 22-year-old with just over 20 minutes of the encounter remaining.

Callum McManaman had come on as a substitute for The Hatters, and he stung the palms of former Town loanee Walton as Luton looked to add a third to their tally.

Rovers saw a goal chalked off with 11 to go as Derrick Williams' header was flicked home by Bradley Dack, but the playmaker had gone too early.

Dominic Samuel was on for his first team return late on as Mowbray rolled the dice for the final time.

Mowbray's men pressed for a dramatic equaliser, but the efforts were in vain as Pearson's header proved to be the difference.

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (c) (Samuel, 81), Williams, Lenihan, Cunningham, Johnson (Holtby, 61), Travis, Armstrong, Dack, Downing, Gallagher (Graham, 61).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Bell, Adarabioyo, Buckley.

Goal: Travis, 36

Booked: Travis, 84

Luton Town: Sluga, Potts, Tunnicliffe, Bradley (c), Pearson, Cornick (Jones, 86), Ruddock-Mpanzu, Collins, Brown (McManaman, 71), Bree, Butterfield (Berry, 82).

Unused substitutes: Shea, Lee, Bolton, LuaLua.

Goals: Collins, 16, Pearson, 57

Booked: Butterfield, 55, Potts, 90.

Referee: Gavin Ward.

Attendance: 15,319 (1,326 away).

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