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Preview: Stoke v Rovers

Another tricky test on the cards for Mowbray's men this weekend

21 September 2018

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After successive draws against promotion-chasing Aston Villa and Derby, Rovers will be looking to pick up another positive result at Stoke this weekend.

Here's our guide to the game...


Tuesday's goalless draw at Derby may not have been Rovers' best performance, but a battling away display means it's another point on the board. The Blues have now kept four clean sheets and suffered just one defeat from the opening eight games in the Championship, and sit 13th in the table ahead of our next test. This Saturday sees Tony Mowbray's men back on the road, this time for a shorter trip to Staffordshire, to take on Stoke at the bet365 Stadium. 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 3:00pm. 


Rovers have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, with midfielder Jacob Davenport the only doubt. Captain Charlie Mulgrew could return following illness, but Dominic Samuel (ACL) and Ben Gladwin (knee) remain long-term absentees. Summer signings Ben Brereton and Harrison Reed will be hoping for their first starts since arriving at the club, while Jack Rodwell is building up his match fitness having played for the Under-23s against Arsenal on Monday evening. Mowbray made three changes at Derby, and the likes of Elliott Bennett and Danny Graham could return to the starting line-up this weekend. Both starting line-ups will be revealed an hour before kick-off on matchday via social media.


Last time out, Stoke picked up their second win of the season, though it did come in controversial circumstances. A 1-0 victory over Swansea in the Potteries was secured by Joe Allen, who scored against his former club from what looked an offside position. Nonetheless, it was a welcome win for Gary Rowett's side, who are now 17th in the table with nine points from eight matches. Allen's is one of a number of familiar names in the Potters squad, including Jack Butland, Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch, but they will be looking to Benik Afobe - a summer loan signing from Wolves - for goals. Rovers have a good record against Stoke, having won 42 and drawn 15 of the previous 92 meetings between the teams. The last two matches have also ended in Rovers victories, including a 4-1 win in the FA Cup in February 2015, a match which saw Josh King saw his first career hat-trick.


At the time of writing, Rovers have sold 1,600 tickets for the clash. There will be no sales on the day of the match, but supporters wishing to purchase a ticket can do so from Ewood until 3pm on Friday. Call 01254372000 for more. Fans travelling to the game should note that the M6 will be fully closed between J15 and J14, north and southbound, from 8pm.


If you're heading to Staffordshire 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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