MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 03:34:29
Sep 26, 2015 at 3pm UK at ​The KCOM Stadium
Hull City
1-1
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
Hernandez (73')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Rhodes (91')

Preview: Hull City vs. Blackburn Rovers

Sports Mole checks on the preparations of both sides ahead of Saturday's Championship clash between Hull City and Blackburn Rovers.

Hull City will look to keep the pressure on the three sides above them in the Championship table when they host Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

Steve Bruce's side return to action after a successful night in the League Cup in midweek, while Blackburn will be keen to climb towards mid-table after a disappointing run.


Hull City

David Meyler of Hull City celebrates scoring the opening goal with Andrew Robertson of Hull City during the Capital One Cup third round match between Hull City and Swansea City at KC Stadium on September 22, 2015 in Hull, England.© Getty Images

Hull should have no issues with confidence as they prepare for a return to the Championship after claiming a surprise win over Swansea City in the third round of the League Cup on Tuesday night.

On an evening when Hull's experienced players made their presence felt, Bruce watched his side capitalise on Garry Monk's changes as David Meyler fired them to a 1-0 triumph at the KC Stadium.

It was further proof of the quality within the Hull squad, but any cup run will simply serve as a bonus to the club's supporters, who are desperate to see Bruce take the team back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Hull have recovered from defeat to leaders Brighton & Hove Albion by beating Cardiff City and playing out a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers last weekend, and the challenge for the squad is to now find their form on a consistent basis as they look to stay close to the top of the table.

With just Burnley, Middlesbrough and Brighton ahead of them at the moment, the early signs are promising for Bruce, who will be fully aware that not much can be taken from how the table looks in September.

Back-to-back league wins have evaded the Tigers so far this season, and Bruce must be hopeful that their impressive display in the League Cup will be enough to put them on course for an extended run of fine performances in the Championship.

Recent form: WLWLWD
Recent form (all competitions): WWLWDW


Blackburn

Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes celebrates after scoring his team's second goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rangers at Loftus Road on September 16, 2015© Getty Images

It was a feeling of relief for Gary Bowyer and his players last weekend as they finally ended the wait for a first win of the season by storming to a 3-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at Ewood Park.

In truth, it was the type of performance which led so many people to be surprised by Blackburn's disappointing start to the campaign as they dominated from the first whistle to collect all three points against the Addicks with a brace from Jordan Rhodes and a late Tom Lawrence strike.

After being forced to deal with rumours which suggested that he could be on his way out of the club just a few weeks ago, some of the pressure was lifted from Bowyer's shoulders with the win and he will now be targeting successive victories as Rovers look to build on last season's ninth-place finish.

Some of the displays in the early weeks of the campaign must surely cast doubt on whether the squad is strong enough for a playoff push, but supporters will point to the improved form of Rhodes, who has netted four goals in the last three Championship games.

It took stubbornness from the board to keep the striker at the club, and if Blackburn continue to produce better performances in other areas of the pitch, Bowyer will be confident that Rhodes can make the team a force in the league.

Games against Hull and Ipswich Town will prove to be big tests, but renewed confidence in the camp ensures that the visitors are in good shape heading into Saturday's trip.

Recent form: DLDLDW


Team News

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 are unlikely to make changes after recording their first win of the campaign, which means that Lawrence could be forced to settle for a spot on the bench following his impressive cameo last week.

Tommy Spurr is available for the visitors again after recovering from concussion, but Chris Brown, Jason Lowe and Chris Taylor are all still out of action.

Jake Livermore made his return to the Hull side in the victory over Swansea and the former Spurs midfielder is likely to be named on the bench for the first time in the Championship this season.

Bruce is expected to name a much-changed side after making nine changes in midweek, with the likes of Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Curtis Davies set to return.

Hull possible starting lineup:
McGregor, Dawson, Bruce, Davies, Odubajo, Robertson, Huddlestone, Clucas, Diame, Akpom, Hernandez

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


Head To Head

After spending two seasons in the Premier League, Hull are taking on Blackburn for the first time since Gedo and Ahmed Elmohamady earned them a 2-0 win over Blackburn in February 2013.

The victory was Hull's only success in the last six league meetings between the two teams, with Blackburn claiming three wins and two draws from the other games.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Hull 2-0 Blackburn

Blackburn will provide a tough test for Bruce's side after finally claiming a first win last weekend, but Hull should be fresh after a number of key players were rested in midweek. The opening goal is likely to be crucial, and if Hull can keep Rhodes quiet, they should manage to collect all three points.


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Who will win Saturday's Championship clash at the KC Stadium?

Hull City
Blackburn Rovers
Draw
Hull City
55.0%
Blackburn Rovers
32.4%
Draw
12.6%
Tony Watt of Charlton Athletic celebrates scoring a goal during the Capital One Cup First Round match between Charlton Athletic v Dagenham & Redbridge at The Valley on August 11, 2015
Read Next:
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds27166546281854
2Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27155746281850
3Norwich CityNorwich27148549351450
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27138655352047
5Middlesbrough271210530191146
6Derby CountyDerby2712783834443
7Bristol City2711883429541
8Birmingham CityBirmingham2791263930939
9Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2791263931839
10Hull City27116103933639
11Queens Park RangersQPR27116103335-239
12Aston Villa2791174943638
13Swansea CitySwansea27107103632437
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn2791083541-637
15Stoke CityStoke2781183134-335
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2788113245-1332
17Brentford27710103937231
18Preston North EndPreston2779113944-530
19Wigan AthleticWigan2785142840-1229
20Millwall2777133343-1028
21Rotherham UnitedRotherham27510122542-1725
22Reading2758143041-1123
23Bolton WanderersBolton2757151840-2222
24Ipswich TownIpswich2739152246-2418

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