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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

1-2
12 December 2020 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 Norwich City

A look ahead to this afternoon's encounter agains

12 December 2020

Tony Mowbray's men go into this afternoon's encounter against Norwich City with the aim of returning to winning ways.

But Rovers will have to be at their very best to do so, with the Canaries coming into the game top of the league and with one defeat in their last 13 outings.

The last meeting between the two sides came at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, with Norwich earning a victory at Carrow Road that booked their place in the Premier League.

Lewis Travis scored his first professional goal that night, but is not yet ready for a return following his ligament injury.

There are four players with connections to Norwich in the Rovers squad, with two likely to feature and two a certainty to miss out.

Both Bradley Johnson and Daniel Ayala have previously spent time in Norfolk and are set to keep their places against their old side.

But injury will prevent Elliott Bennett from featuring, whilst Tom Trybull is ineligible against his parent club.

Bradley Dack continues to be out of action, as does Joe Rankin-Costello and Corry Evans, whilst Scott Wharton is a long-term absentee after damaging his Achilles at Brentford a week ago.

For Norwich, Daniel Farke has no fresh injury concerns going into the game.

The quartet of Jordan Hugill, Kieran Dowell, Todd Cantwell and Kenny McLean returned on Wednesday in the win over Nottingham Forest and all are fit and available.

However, Lukas Rupp and Tim Krul remain around a week away from a return, with Krul's omission meaning Michael McGovern is set to continue in goal.
 
And ahead of the game, Farke believes Rovers are a side who he believes are capable of a top six finish this season.

“Rovers have top quality up front and play on the offense,” Farke told the official Norwich City website ahead of the encounter.

“Mowbray is doing a fantastic job and they're competitors for the top six with the squad to achieve it.

“We have to make sure our defending is spot on and we play with compactness while bringing our game onto the pitch with lots of possession.”

Supporters can still purchase a live video match pass for only £10 for this afternoon's contest. To purchase yours, please click here.

A reminder that kick-off is at 3pm later on today.

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 1-2 Norwich City

Teemu Pukki hits a brace as Rovers suffer defeat at home to the Canaries

12 December 2020

A superb solo goal from Harvey Elliott wasn't enough as Teem Pukki's brace sent Norwich City home from Ewood Park with all three points.

After Pukki put the visitors into the lead in the first half, the goal of the game came via Elliott's left foot just before the hour mark.

The Liverpool loanee slalomed in-between a couple of City players before prodding under Michael McGovern for his third goal of the season.

However, Pukki got the slightest of deflections off Emi Buendia's long range strike to ultimately win the game for Daniel Farke's Canaries.

But Rovers did have their chances to earn at least a draw throughout the encounter, most notably when Sam Gallagher hit the bar and when Lewis Holtby's volley forced a scrambling McGovern to beat away the strike.

Despite the strong display, Rovers were made to rue missed opportunities, but have a chance to get back on track when Rotherham United visit Ewood Park on Wednesday night.

Both sides made one change to their starting teams, with Darragh Lenihan returning from suspension to come in for Daniel Ayala, whilst Alex Tettey replaced Marco Stiepermann for the visitors.

Rovers came out of the traps the quickest on home turf, and Sam Gallagher saw his glancing header flicked away by McGovern after only six minutes.

Moments later and Elliott curled just past McGovern's right-hand post as the hosts pressed for an early opener.

It was an open game, with chances coming for Norwich as well, but Thomas Kaminski was well placed to grab Pukki's lofted attempt.

But Pukki didn't have to wait too much longer to get his goal midway through the first half.

Tettey kept a move alive, and his cross was the left was controlled well by the Finland international before he swivelled and lashed into the near corner before Kaminski could react.

The striker went in search of his brace, but dragged wide with his left foot after wriggling away from his man with 10 minutes of the half remaining.

Rovers always looked like they could score, but it was dangerman Pukki who could and should have put City 2-0 up on 38 minutes.

The striker was on the spot to latch onto Max Aarons' pull back, but he clipped the post before the follow up attempt was saved brilliantly by Kaminski and then Josh Martin smashed over.

Rovers will have found themselves frustrated to have gone into the interval a goal down and, much like the first half, and Elliott's deflected cross looped just wide a moment before Sam Gallagher thundered a strike against the crossbar inside the opening couple of minutes of the half.

Another opportunity came just seconds later, with former Norwich man Bradley Johnson heading Joe Rothwell's free kick straight at McGoven and then the Northern Irish goalkeeper flew to his right to beat away Holtby's volley.

You felt the goal was coming and it arrived from the delicate footwork of Elliott, who danced past Jacob Sorensen, beyond Hanley and flicked the ball under McGovern and in with almost an hour gone.

However, Rovers were level for only six minutes, with Emi Buendia's strike taking a deflection of Pukki, wrong-footing Kaminski and flying in to hand the visitors the lead for the second time in the game.

It was a hammer blow for Rovers who attempted to lift the spirits, but Armstrong's strike was held by McGovern before Kaminski kept Rovers alive with a couple of minutes remaining when he kept out substitute Todd Cantwell's snapshot.

Another substitute was denied when Kaminski kept out Marco Stiepermann right at the death, but it counted for little as Norwich returned to Norfolk with all three points and kept their spot at the top of the table.

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan (c), Williams, Douglas, Johnson (Davenport, 72), Holtby (Buckley, 72), Rothwell (Downing, 72), Gallagher, Elliott, Armstrong.

Unused substitutes: Pears, Ayala, Chapman, Bell, Carter, Dolan.

Goal: Elliott, 59.

Norwich City: McGovern, Aarons, Zimmermann, Hanley (c), Sorensen, Skipp, Tettey, Vrancic (McLean, 66), Buendia (Stiepermann, 90), Martin (Cantwell, 66), Pukki (Hugill, 89).

Unused substitutes: Barden, Dowell, Omobamidele, Omotoye.

Goals: Pukki, 22, 65

Booked: Pukki, 83

Referee: Dean Whitestone.

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