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Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sheffield Wednesday will be hoping to build on their maiden victory under Tony Pulis when they travel to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.

In contrast, the promotion-chasing hosts suffered a setback in their march to the Championship's top six as they lost 1-0 at Stoke City last time out.


Match preview

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray pictured on October 17, 2020© Reuters

December has not been a month of festive joy for Blackburn Rovers, who have only managed to pick up two wins from their last six, a run which also includes three defeats from their last four.

Tony Mowbray's men succumbed to a seventh-minute Nick Powell header at Stoke last weekend as their bid for a playoff berth took another blow, with Rovers now dropping to 11th in the table following an underwhelming spell of form over the past few weeks.

In fairness, this weekend's hosts are having to deal with a ravaged squad at the minute due to injuries, but with only one win from their last five in the Championship, Blackburn are now five points adrift of the top six after 20 matches.

Nevertheless, Blackburn have turned up the heat when it matters most at home, where Mowbray's side have taken the spoils in four of their last five outings, and Bournemouth are the only side who can boast a better goal tally than Blackburn's 34 at present.

Mowbray's side could break back into the top half with a win on Boxing Day, but Blackburn would also have to hope that Bristol City and Cardiff City lose to Wycombe Wanderers and Brentford respectively.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Tony Pulis pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Pulis finally picked up his long-awaited first Wednesday victory at the ninth attempt over Coventry City, with Tom Lees netting the all-important winner in the second half at Hillsborough.

The mood in the Owls' camp will undoubtedly be much more positive following a first win since November 3, but Wednesday are still in the relegation zone and cannot climb above the dotted line no matter what happens on Boxing Day.

The Owls - who sit 23rd - are four points adrift of 21st-placed Rotherham United and 22nd-placed Derby County, and both teams have a game in hand over Wednesday, who are also level with basement side Wycombe Wanderers.

Furthermore, Pulis's side have not managed to triumph away from home since a 1-0 victory at Birmingham City back in October, with Wednesday losing six out of seven on the road since.

Blackburn scraped a narrow 2-1 victory when the sides met at Ewood Park last season, but Wednesday were thrashed 5-0 at home by this weekend's hosts at Hillsborough back in January.

Blackburn Rovers Championship form: WDLLWL

Sheffield Wednesday Championship form: DLLLLW


Team News

Blackburn Rovers' Adam Armstrong celebrates scoring against Rotherham United in the Championship on December 16, 2020© Reuters

As mentioned, Blackburn have several players in the treatment room heading into the New Year, with the likes of Elliot Bennett, Joe Rankin-Costello, Scott Wharton and Corry Evans all sidelined.

On a more positive note for Mowbray, winger Ben Brereton is back in training and has an outside chance of being fit for Saturday, but a start still seems unlikely.

Daniel Ayala has not been ruled out of this game despite struggling with a foot injury, but the defender is considered much more of a doubt than Brereton.

As for Wednesday, the visitors are already without Dominic Iorfa for the long term, while Julian Borner is unlikely to make the cut either.

However, midfielder Barry Bannan took to Instagram to assure fans that he would be fit for this one after an injury scare against Coventry, and there is also optimism over Massimo Luongo's fitness.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Nyambe, Johnson, Lenihan, Douglas; Trybull, Rothwell, Holtby; Elliott, Armstrong, Gallagher

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Westwood; Palmer, Dunkley, Lees; Harris, Bannan, Luongo, Pelupessy, Reach; Paterson, Windass


SM words green background

We say: Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Despite finally managing to lead his strugglers to a much-needed three points, Pulis is facing an uphill battle to make Sheffield Wednesday's trip to Blackburn count for something. The hosts have become renowned for their goalscoring capabilities - even with a plethora of injuries - and the Owls have only mustered five strikes on the road all season, so this should be a routine win for Mowbray's side.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured in October 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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