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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

12 March 2021 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Rovers v Brentford

A look ahead to this evening's encounter at Ewood Park

12 March 2021

Rovers welcome Brentford to Ewood Park this evening for a night under the lights in East Lancashire.

Tony Mowbray has confirmed that there is positive news on the injury front, with both Lewis Holtby and Jarrad Branthwaite available to feature having recovered from injury and illness.

Holtby hasn't featured since tweaking his knee against Queens Park Rangers at the beginning of February, whilst Everton loanee Branthwaite had missed the last two games against Millwall and Swansea City.

However, tonight's game is expected to come too soon for Adam Armstrong, with the 24-year-old still nursing a sore hamstring.

He joins Daniel Ayala on the treatment table, but Jacob Davenport, who scored the memorable equaliser at Brentford earlier in the season, is edging closer to a return.

Scott Wharton suffered an Achilles injury at the Brentford Community Stadium in the reverse fixture and the defender remains the only long-term absentee.

For the opposition, Bees boss Thomas Frank has confirmed that he will take a strong squad north for Brentford's first game in eight days.

The Londoners haven't played since the defeat at Norwich City in early March, with their game against Rotherham United postponed last weekend due to COVID-19 issues in the Millers squad.

That means ex-Rovers goalkeeper David Raya, who appeared 108 times for our first team after coming through the Academy system, is expected to start in goal.

Ivan Toney looks likely to lead the line for the visitors and the league's top scorer already has 25 goals to his name in all competitions in his first season with the Bees.

However, both Rico Henry and Pontus Jansson remain out of action due to injury issues.

Henry has been out since suffering a hamstring setback against Coventry City last month, whilst Swedish centre back Jansson hasn't featured so far in 2021.

The last meeting between the two side came in early December, with Joe Rothwell giving Rovers the advantage with a stunning opener in the first-half.

However, the turning point came before half-time when Darragh Lenihan was shown a straight red card for taking down Ivan Toney in the box, with the striker stroking home the equaliser from the spot.

Sergi Canos put the hosts in front midway through the second-half, before Davenport flicked home from close range with just a couple of minutes remaining as Rovers deservedly earned a point on the road.

And ahead of the encounter, Bees chief Frank, whose side sit fourth in the table ahead of the game, believes Rovers are a dangerous outfit.

"Rovers are an extremely interesting team in this division," Frank told the official Brentford website ahead of the game.

"Because of where they are in the table, I don’t think they get enough credit.

"They are a very tactically challenging side; they always change it a bit and they always make it difficult for you. Especially at the beginning of the season, they were flying offensively.

"They are still among the top scorers and in Armstrong, Elliott, Brereton, Gallagher, and Dack, they have some of this division’s most interesting offensive players.

"They are much better than the position they have in the league; they have been unlucky so far."

Kick-off is at 7.45pm this evening, and fans can catch all the action by purchasing an iFollow Rovers audio pass or by following the coverage across our social media channels.

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 0-1 Brentford

Ivan Toney's early penalty is the difference between the teams at Ewood Park

12 March 2021

Ivan Toney's early penalty kick was the difference as Rovers suffered defeat at home to Brentford, but the main concern is regarding an injury to Bradley Dack.

Dack was forced off on a stretcher in the final moments of the game after a tangle in the box with former Rover David Raya.

The collision occurred in second-half injury time, with Rovers feeling a penalty should have been awarded.

Another spot-kick looked certain to be awarded earlier in the second-half when Ryan Nyambe was hauled down in the box, but Geoff Eltringham waved away both shouts.

Ultimately, Toney proved to be the match-winner as he slotted home from the spot 10 minutes into the encounter after Darragh Lenihan was adjudged to have taken down Tarique Fosu.

It was another game that saw the fine margins not go Rovers' way against a Bees side that had two alterations to it from the defeat at Norwich City last time out.

Fosu and Christian Norgaard were the pair who came in, with Saman Ghoddos and Sergi Canos dropping to the bench.

For Rovers, the only change came at right back as Ryan Nyambe returned in place of Joe Rankin-Costello.

It was an even start to the encounter against the Bees, but the visitors took the lead from the spot 10 minutes into the contest.

Lenihan, on his 200th appearance for the club, was adjudged to have clipped Fosu in the box, and Toney stepped up to send Thomas Kaminski the wrong way and slot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Whilst Rovers were struggling to find an equaliser, Brentford went close to making it 2-0 as Vitaly Janelt tried his luck, but the German dragged his strike comfortably wide of Kaminski's left-hand post with five minutes to go until the break.

A double change at the interval saw Joe Rothwell and Harvey Elliott introduced, and the former showed fine footwork to slide a ball through to Dack, but his left-footed attempt swirled just beyond Raya's left-hand post just five minutes into the second-half.

Tyrhys Dolan then forced Raya into action again just after the hour, with the teenager's curling attempt held comfortably by the Spaniard.

Soon after and Rothwell launched a low shot goalwards, but Raya was once more equal to the long-range strike.

Rothwell was having an impact, and he went close again a few moments later, but he scuffed his effort and it trickled through to Raya as Rovers continued to probe in an improved second-half showing.

The Bees were dropping deeper, but goalscorer Toney was still a threat left up front on his own and he showcased that as he fired wide from outside the box before substitute Canos saw his dipping drive beaten away by Kaminski.

Rovers' Belgian stopper then pulled off a reaction save to brilliantly deny Marcus Forss just seconds after the Finnish hitman came on as a substitute, and then Toney drove into the side-netting just a moment later as the game opened up.

There was a penalty shout and also real concern in the first minute of additional time when Dack sneakily attempted to pinch the ball off Raya in the box.

The talisman went down in the coming together with his former team-mate and whilst there was no spot-kick awarded, there was concern all round as the talisman was carried off on a stretcher.

That was to be the final action of the game as concern switched to Dack's condition as soon as the full-time whistle was blown.

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan (c), Harwood-Bellis, Douglas, Buckley (Bennett, 77), Trybull (Travis, 54 (Johnson, 61) , Dack, Gallagher (Rothwell, 46), Dolan, Brereton (Elliott, 46).

Unused substitutes: Pears, Bell, Evans, Branthwaite.

Booked: Buckley, 75, Lenihan, 86, Bennett, 90, Johnson, 90.

Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard (c), Reid, Pinnock, Sorensen, Jensen (Marcondes, 72), Janelt, Norgaard (Ghoddos, 76), Mbeumo (Forss, 85), Fosu (Canos, 72), Toney.

Unused substitutes: Daniels, Roerslev, Zamburek, Stevens, Bidstrup.

Goal: Toney pen, 10.

Booked: Mbeumo, 78, Sorensen, 90.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham.

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