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Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Charlton Athletic

Sports Mole previews the Championship fixture between Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic.

Blackburn Rovers host Charlton Athletic on Saturday afternoon looking to bring a halt to a run of eight games without a win since the season started on August 8.

Charlton, meanwhile, have failed to build on their impressive start to the campaign, and they arrive at Ewood Park without success in three outings.


Blackburn Rovers

Gary Bowyer the manager of Blackburn Rovers looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers at Ewood park on August 28, 2015© Getty Images

Blackburn remain without a win in their opening seven Championship contests, but for the first time since the start of August, boss Gary Bowyer can be optimistic about the performances being produced by his side.

Only one point has been recorded in two visits to London in games against Fulham and Queens Park Rangers but their displays have been encouraging and on another week, they would have had four points to their name.

Officials wrongly chalked off a goal at Craven Cottage last Sunday, while they twice let slip a lead at Loftus Road, and it is that kind of luck and lack of defensive authority that Bowyer will hope gets better over the course of the coming weeks.

The Rovers chief has acknowledged, though, that they could be cut adrift in the relegation zone should they not register maximum points before the end of the month, although a return to Ewood Park may aid their fortunes.

Only a controversial goal from Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder David Edwards has prevented Blackburn remaining unbeaten in the league in front of their home fans, but a third draw in succession won't be enough to appease the supporters on Saturday as they look to find a route out of the bottom three.

Recent form: DDLDLD


Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic boss Guy Luzon on the touchline during the Championship match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 25, 2015© Getty Images

Charlton began the season with eight points from four games, and with progress also being achieved in the League Cup, the signs were there that the Addicks could maintain a top-six spot heading into the second month of the campaign.

However, the late defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers has had a lasting impact on Guy Luzon's side, with Charlton earning just one point from home matches against Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town.

Their recent poor form is largely down to their failure to take their chances. Luzon bemoaned their poor conversion rate against both Wolves and Rotherham, while they also created 18 opportunities against Huddersfield, finding the target on just four occasions.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope was at fault for Huddersfield's opener, but the club's defence are not being helped out by their attack, who have notched just eight goals from seven matches.

They are yet to register an away win in the league this season too, which will not aid their confidence in the North-West, but it may only take one strong outing in the final third to get the club back on track in their ninth season out of the top flight.

Recent form: DDWLDL
Recent form (all competitions): DWWLDL


Team News

Tommy Spurr of Blackburn gets treatment after a head injury during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rangers at Loftus Road on September 16, 2015© Getty Images

Blackburn defender Tommy Spurr is expected to miss out after being knocked unconscious against QPR on Wednesday night.

The 27-year-old appears to have escaped a serious injury, but he is likely to spend the weekend on the sidelines, with Markus Olsson deputising in his place.

Luzon has revealed that Charlton have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Lancashire, but on-loan attacker Conor McAleny could be handed his first start since joining from Everton.

Igor Vetokele, who netted 11 times last season, may earn a starting role in place of Simon Makienok, who only has one goal to his name since joining on loan from Palermo.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Steele; Henley, Duffy, Hanley, Olsson; Marshall, Guthrie, Evans, Conway, Koita; Rhodes

Charlton Athletic possible starting lineup:
Pope; Solly, Bauer, Sarr, Fox; Gudmundsson, Kashi, Ba, Cousins; Watt, Vetokele


Head To Head

Blackburn hold a dominant record over Charlton as far as their historical results are concerned, with Rovers claiming wins in 17 of their 28 matches.

The 1995 Premier League champions have also emerged victorious on the last four occasions, with 10 goals being scored in the process.

Despite their poor record, Charlton were triumphant at Ewood Park in both their visits in 2013.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Charlton Athletic

With Charlton low in confidence in front of goal, Saturday could be the day when Blackburn get their season back on track. In what should be a closely-fought contest, the difference maker could be Jordan Rhodes, who has netted in his last two appearances.


Who will win Saturday's match between Blackburn and Charlton?

Blackburn
Draw
Charlton
Blackburn
69.5%
Draw
13.6%
Charlton
16.9%
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Conor McAleny in action for Everton on August 3, 2014
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Team News: Conor McAleny on the bench for Charlton
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