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Match Previews

Preview: Rovers v Middlesbrough

A look ahead to tonight's encounter against Boro at Ewood Park as Rovers aim to return to winning ways.

3 November 2020

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Rovers return to action this evening and go into the game against Middlesbrough looking for an instant response to the disappointment against Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.

After a frustrating weekend in south Wales, Mowbray's men will be aiming to get back on track against a side who the boss played for and managed.

The Rovers manager is a legendary figure on Teesside have amassed 425 games for Boro during his playing days, winning the Player of the Year award on two occasions.

After hanging up his boots, Mowbray went on to have a three-year spell as boss of his boyhood club between 2010 and 2013.

Back to the present day, and Mowbray does have injury concerns ahead of welcoming his old employers to Ewood Park tonight.

He expects Adam Armstrong to miss out after picking up a slight hamstring strain at the weekend, with Sam Gallagher and Tyrhys Dolan the likeliest duo to battle it out to take the place of the Rovers top scorer.

Barry Douglas, Bradley Johnson and Amari'i Bell continue to isolate, with Joe Rankin-Costello set to continue at left back.

Thomas Kaminski probably won't be risked, meaning former Boro man Aynsley Pears starts in goal for a third successive game, whilst another Middlesbrough old boy in Daniel Ayala remains sidelined with a groin strain.

The good news is a potential return for Joe Rothwell, with isolation and a back spasm keeping the attacker out of Rovers' recent contests.

Neil Warnock also has decisions to make, with a number of players out of action for Boro for this evening's test.

Dael Fry remains touch-and-go to feature, with Nathan Wood waiting in the wings to feature in defence again if the centre back doesn't make it.

Chuba Akpom could be pushing for a start after returning to the bench in the weekend win over Nottingham Forest at the Riverside Stadium.

But Grant Hall remains a few weeks away from a return to action, whilst Ashley Fletcher is a long-term absentee.

Rovers have lost just once in the last 10 meetings between the two sides, with Danny Graham's spot kick proving to be the difference in this fixture at Ewood last season.

And ahead of the trip to East Lancashire, Warnock is optimistic that the good feeling throughout the club can continue for at least another matchday.

"It will be a tough game, but one we look forward to," the 71-year-old said.

“The club’s buzzing at the moment. The under-23s are top of the league, they’re flying. Under-18s: top of the league, they’re flying.

“There’s a buzz around the whole place at the moment.”

Kick-off is at 7.45pm tonight, and fans can catch all the action by following the coverage across our social media channels.

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