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PL Cup preview: Rovers Under-23s v Middlesbrough Under-23s

Brereton, Samuel, Chapman and Davenport are all expected to play a part against Boro

8 November 2019

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Rovers Under-23s return to action this evening when we host Middlesbrough Under-23s at Leyland in game two of the Premier League Cup.

Rovers and Boro are joined in Group G by Burnley and Crystal Palace, with the top two advancing to the knockout phase of the competition.

Billy Barr's side made the perfect start in the competition with victory at Crystal Palace last month, coming back from a goal down to defeat The Eagles 3-1 at Dulwich Hamlet.

Last season, Rovers reached the quarter-finals before bowing out to eventual winners Everton at Goodison Park. 

Joe Rankin-Costello bagged a brace against Palace and he is expected to be part of a strong side when Middlesbrough come to town tonight.

Speaking at yesterday's press conference, manager Tony Mowbray confirmed that a couple of senior strikers are also set to play a part, as they bid to boost their match fitness.

“(Ben) Brereton and (Dominic) Samuel are likely to play an hour, then we’ll try and get them 90 minutes against Hertha Berlin a week later," said the Rovers boss.

“I think there are a couple who are pretty close to returning from injury. They’ll play a fair chunk of the game before playing again next Friday at Ewood against Hertha.

“If they can get 90 minutes in that game then they are back in contention for the first team squad selection.

“That will give us more options, more choices of players in form. In a couple of weeks time we’ll have some big decisions to make on who makes the team and who misses out.

“(Harry) Chapman is back available following concussion last week and is going to be in the squad."

Tonight's opponents have been flying high in Premier League 2 Division 2, sitting in fourth place in the table after 10 games played.

The Teessiders' first Premier League Cup game against Burnley Under-23s ended in a 1-1 draw, with Boro currently third in Group G.

A win will put Rovers in a commanding position at the top of the table as Barr's side aim to continue their 100% start in the competition.

Kick-off at the Lancashire FA HQ is at 7pm, with the game free of charge for Rovers season ticket holders, otherwise admission prices are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.

We will have full match updates via our social media channels.

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