Blackburn Rovers welcome Charlton Athletic to kick-off their Sky Bet Championship campaign at Ewood Park on Saturday.
The Rovers finished 15th in the league table last season, after clinching promotion from League One the season prior to that. Tony Mowbray’s side will now be looking to build on that base and aim for a top-half finish or even the play-off spots.
In order to do so, they will have to start the season well and the arrival of Charlton provides them with a great opportunity to kick-off their campaign on a winning note.
Meanwhile, Charlton are one of the promoted sides, after beating Sunderland in the League One play-off final. Lee Bowyer has done a fine job with the team, however, the first priority of the Addicks will be to consolidate their position in the second division.
In terms of team news, the Rovers have bolstered their attack with the signings of Stewart Downing and Bradley Johnson on free transfers while Sam Gallagher was acquired from Southampton.
Further, Blackburn have managed to hold on to the exciting Bradley Dack and he will be key for a promotion push. In terms of injuries, Mowbray will be without Derrick Williams, Sam Hart and Jacob Davenport who are all nursing various ailments.
Finally, Richard Smallwood will miss out the game due to a carry-over suspension from last season.
On the other hand, Charlton lost key man Joe Aribo in the summer among others and have signed MK Dons attacker Chuks Aneke. However, the latter is ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury along with Lewis Page.
This leaves a lot of the goalscoring responsibility on Lyle Taylor, who scored 21 goals for the Addicks last term.
Head-To-Head and Blackburn vs Charlton Prediction
In terms of head-to-head, Blackburn won 35 while Charlton picked up 26 meetings with the spoils shared in the remaining 17 games. Further, the Rovers have won 4 of the last 6 meetings between the sides and beat their opponents with a 7-0 aggregate in the previous 3 games at Ewood Park.
In terms of form, the Rovers won 4 of their 5 pre-season games and are in a good moment. On the other hand, Bowyer’s side won 4 and lost 3 out of their 7 pre-season games, scoring in all of them.
Further, the Addicks have lost just twice on the road in 2019, giving them an outside chance. Nevertheless, Mowbray’s side should be favourites to win the match and their firepower should prove too much for Charlton in the end.
Predicted Blackburn XI: Walton; Bennett, Mulgrew, Lenihan, Adarabioyo; Johnson, Travis; Armstrong, Dack; Gallagher, Graham
Predicted Charlton XI: Phillips; Lockyer, Sarr, Pearce; Dijksteel, Morgan, Forster-Caskey, Purrington; Williams; Taylor, Bonne