Sports Mole looks ahead to the domestic season opener between Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City at Ewood Park on Friday night.
By Barney Corkhill, Assistant Editor Filed: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 15:11 UK
Last Updated: Friday, August 8, 2014 at 08:06 UK
After a busy summer of sport, the new Football League season is already upon us, with Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City getting the 2014-15 campaign underway at Ewood Park on Friday night.
Both teams have pre-season expectations of promotion, with Blackburn having finished just two points off the playoffs last season and Cardiff coming down from the Premier League.
The hosts have been troubled by a sickness bug over the last few days, but that is expected to have cleared by the time they line up against the Bluebirds, giving Gary Bowyer a fully-fit squad to choose from.
The Rovers boss will be keen to carry some momentum over from the end of last season, when he saw his side go 12 matches without defeat to make a late surge for the top six.
They have also remained unbeaten throughout pre-season, although they go into Friday's match having drawn their last four outings.
Summer signings Chris Brown and Alex Baptiste could both make their debuts at Ewood Park, with the former having made good progress in his recovery from a knee injury.
While Blackburn ended last season on a high, Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must pick his team up having been relegated from the top flight.
Three points in the season opener would be a perfect way to do that, as well as helping to confirm their status as one of the early favourites for the title.