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Preview: Rovers v Aston Villa

Mowbray's men return to league action with a big test on home soil

14 September 2018

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Rovers will look to get back to winning ways when Aston Villa make the trip to East Lancashire on Saturday evening.

Here's our guide to the game...

STATE OF PLAY

Last time out, Rovers suffered a first defeat of the season at the hands of Bristol City. Despite captain Charlie Mulgrew opening the scoring directly from a corner, the hosts eventually ran out 4-1 winners, a result which leaves Tony Mowbray's side with nine points from six Championship games. With the international break now complete, this weekend sees Rovers return to league action against Aston Villa, who were also on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline in their last outing. Like us, Villa have also put nine points on the board so far, but are without a win in four. The Blues will take confidence from what has become a fantastic home record; a win or a draw this weekend will see our unbeaten run at Ewood stretch beyond the one-year mark. As always, we'll be in attendance, bringing you team news and live updates via social media. Fans can follow the action via our official Twitter account, with kick-off scheduled for 5:30pm on Saturday. 

TEAM NEWS

The big news ahead of Saturday's clash is that Bradley Dack is expected to return from the knee injury which has kept him out of action since our win at Hull last month. The attacker, who already has four goals in all competitions this season, is back in contention after training during the week. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Dominic Samuel (ACL) and Ben Gladwin (knee), who are likely to miss the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Jacob Davenport remains doubtful, after picking up a knock in a recent in-house game. Summer signings Ben Brereton and Harrison Reed will be hoping to play at Ewood for the first time since arriving at the club, and the boss confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Jack Rodwell will play for the Under-23s before being considered for selection. For Villa, it has been confirmed that Tammy Abraham "will play" on Saturday, while Yannick Bolasie could be among the substitutes. Both starting line-ups will be revealed an hour before kick-off on matchday via social media.

OUR OPPONENTS

As mentioned, a 4-1 defeat at Sheffield United last time out means Villa will be eager to bounce back here. Like Rovers, the Villans have drawn with Ipswich and Reading and won at Hull in what has been a steady start, with manager Steve Bruce expecting his side to be "there or thereabouts" come the end of the campaign. Villa were losing play-off finalists in 2017/18, and will be looking to go one better this season. Only four sides have scored more than Villa (11) in the league so far this term, but it's at the other end where they will have concerns - only QPR and Norwich have conceded more than their 11 to date. Saturday's game will be the 173rd played between the two teams, with Rovers running out 1-0 winners when we last met in April 2017. 

TICKETS

Tickets are still available, and can be purchased online, from the ticket office at Ewood or over the phone on 01254372000. 

SHARE YOUR FAN PICS

If you're heading to Ewood on Saturday, be sure to tag your matchday pictures with #Rovers; we'll share the best posts on our official Twitter and Instagram pages. Our handle on both platforms is now @Rovers. You can also use our special matchday camera filters in the official Rovers fan app.


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