Blackburn Rovers will welcome Stoke City to Ewood Park as the mid-table clubs clash in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.
Blackburn is currently 16th in the table with 47 points. They are safe from the relegation dogfight and are out of contention to fight for promotion. After promotion from League One last season, the Rovers will be happy with the way this season is going to end.
With seven games left and nothing major at stake, manager Tony Mowbray will look to try out new tactics and set up a base for next season. He elaborated on his team’s target for the remaining games in his pre-match press conference by stating they need to hit 60 points.
It will be a similar case for his opposite number Nathan Jones as well. The Stoke gaffer was snapped up from Luton Town this January. The Potters find themselves a point and a position ahead of Blackburn. Therefore, the visitors are in the same position as the hosts, and Jones will look to implement his methods in the remaining games and look to fight for promotion next season.
In terms of team news, Corry Evans is expected to be fit for the Rovers and could come back straight into the side. On the other hand, Jones has a fully healthy squad to choose from, and he will be delighted to have attackers Sam Clucas and Sam Vokes back as Stoke look to solve their scoring issues.
The Potters have drawn their last four league games 0-0, and the addition of the attackers mentioned above should help them find the back of the net. On a positive note, their defense has been rock-solid with eight clean sheets in the last ten games. Further, they have conceded only two goals during that spell.
Skybet Championship Blackburn Rovers vs Stoke City Preview and Prediction:
The picture is less rosy for Blackburn as they have lost eight of their last ten games. Further, they are yet to win from a losing position this season. To compound things, Mowbray’s side has scored just one first-half goal in their last nine games and have found the back of the net only five times in their 19 home games so far.
In the reverse fixture back in September, the Rovers scored three first-half goals and held on a late Stoke onslaught to win 3-2. However, they are struggling for form at the moment, and the Potters are in a marginally better situation.
While a goalless draw is a genuine possibility, Blackburn’s struggles should give Stoke enough incentive to keep a clean sheet and grab a goal or two.
Stoke City To Win @ 2.86 at Pinnacle Sports