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Development Squad

Preview: Rovers U23s v West Ham United U23s

We look ahead to tonight's big game at Ewood Park in Premier League 2

26 November 2018

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Rested and recovered having gone two weeks without a fixture, Damien Johnson's side are back in action this evening against West Ham United's Under-23s.

It's a chance for Rovers to re-focus on Premier League 2 having suffered defeat against Everton at Leyland in our last outing in the Premier League Cup.

Johnson's side is close to full fitness, with only Joe Rankin-Costello a doubt for the game against the London side, which will be played at Ewood Park this evening.

The Hammers come into the game in poor form, having suffered five defeats in their last six league games, which includes two losses in the last two outings.

Despite being bottom of the table, Rovers have kept in touch with the pack and know a win tonight could lift them level on points with the East Londoners, who sit in 10th place in the table.

The clash could see an opportunity given to some first team fringe players in need of match sharpness, and that means the likes of Paul Downing, Lewis Travis and Joe Nuttall could appear.

One player who won't though is Jacob Davenport. The teenager has featured for Johnson's charges in recent weeks as he stepped up his recovery from injury picked up during pre-season.

But the 19-year-old starlet, who signed from Manchester City in the summer, has suffered a setback and won't be risked.

And Johnson has asked his players to rise to the occasion at Ewood Park for the big game.

"West Ham are a side with good players and will be a tough opponent for us. But we've had a couple of weeks to prepare for the game, have dusted ourselves down and are ready," Johnson sad.

"It's Ewood Park where the boys want to be playing on a regular basis. It's exposure to the big stage and you hope they can perform on that stage in front of a crowd that will hopefully be more than we usually have at Leyland.

"Can the lads beat an established side at this level? That's the challenge for us, and it's one we're all looking forward to."

Kick-off at Ewood Park is at 7pm. Admission for Monday's game is free for season ticket holders or £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. It is pay on the gate in the lower tier of the Jack Walker Stand.


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