MX23RW : Saturday, September 25 06:50:01| >> :120:53427:53427:
Jul 28, 2021 at 7.30pm UK at Ewood Park
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
LeedsLeeds United
McBride (72')
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Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Leeds United ramp up their pre-season campaign with the second of four fixtures in five days as they take on Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

The Whites finished ninth in their first season back in the Premier League last time out, while Blackburn finished a disappointing 15th in the Championship.

Match preview

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa on May 8, 2021.© Reuters

Having so far focused solely on building their fitness on the training ground, Leeds' players have a big week ahead with quickfire games to prepare for.

Marcelo Bielsa's men first take on Guiseley on Tuesday, before then taking on Blackburn, Fleetwood Town and Real Betis before the end of the week.

United's pre-season programme concludes with a prestige friendly away to Ajax ahead of their Premier League opener with Manchester United on August 14.

Bielsa will use this week's games as a chance to give as many of his players some minutes as possible, which could see a couple of different lineups fielded at Ewood Park.

This clash with second-tier side Blackburn may also provide Leeds fans with their first chance to see new signing Junior Firpo, signed from Barcelona this month, in action.

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Blackburn are at a more advanced stage in their summer preparations than Leeds, with their Championship campaign kicking off against Swansea City on August 7.

Tony Mowbray's side have already defeated Fylde 1-0 and lost 2-0 to Bradford City during the off-season, and they now have games against Leeds and Bolton Wanderers to come.

Rovers boss Mowbray missed that most recent friendly with Bradford as he is isolating after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

Stand-in boss Mark Venus named a strong lineup, yet goals from Lee Angol and Callum Cooke earned League Two side Bradford the victory.

While the result ultimately does not matter at this stage, the Blue and Whites will be eager to respond to that setback against top-flight opposition in midweek.

Blackburn Rovers Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • L

Team News

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Bielsa is expected to name a young squad for Tuesday's game with Guiseley, with this contest taking priority of the two.

Lewis Bate, another of those brought in during the current transfer window, is in line to receive some minutes at Ewood Park.

The likes of Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper, Mateusz Klich and Tyler Roberts will be eased in after representing their respective countries at Euro 2020.

Midfielder Kalvin Phillips is still around a week away from returning to training, meanwhile, having reached the final of that competition with England.

As for Blackburn, they ended the Bradford match with an entirely different XI to the one that started the game, as is often the case in pre-season.

However, with this Rovers' toughest remaining test ahead of their first competitive game of 2021-22, Mowbray - or indeed Venus - will name a strong XI on Wednesday.

That should mean a start for Adam Armstrong, who scored 28 goals in 40 Championship appearances last season.

SM words green background

We say: Blackburn Rovers 2-2 Leeds United

It remains to be seen exactly what type of lineup Bielsa will field in this intense run of fixtures that will see Leeds play four times in five days.

Blackburn were beaten by Bradford last time out but, backed by some home supporters in midweek, we can see them bouncing back with a draw against their top-flight opponents.

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