Paul Lambert isn't surprised to see Saturday's opponents riding high at the top of the Championship table.
The Rovers boss believes the way they narrowly missed out on promotion last year, allied with Aitor Karanka strengthening his squad, means Middlesbrough are the team to beat this season.
Lambert recently watched Boro in a goalless draw with Birmingham City, and is expecting another tough test.
"It doesn't surprise me where they are," said the Scot. "They just missed out last year against a good Norwich side.
"And then when you attract the likes of the lad Downing, who has come from West Ham, you know they are going to be in the mix at the end of it.
"I saw them a few weeks ago against Birmingham and they are a really good side so we are going to have to be right on our mettle.
"If we have got any aspirations then we'll try and get on the front foot and go and try and win."
Starting with the Boxing Day clash against Middlesbrough, you can buy a Half Season Ticket from just £143 for Adults, and from just £91 for Seniors & 18-21 year-olds.
A junior half season ticket is from just £34, whilst Under-8s go free when with a paying Adult or Senior.
Buy today at www.eticketing.co.uk/onerovers, in store at Ewood or Church Street. Or for further information call the ticket office on 01254 372000.