Lowdown opposition: Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Blackburn Rovers

Form

Blackburn are the only side in the Championship with a 100% league record this season, winning three out of three, scoring 10 goals and conceding one. They started the season with a 1-0 win at home to QPR before an impressive 0-3 win at Swansea City. They continued their winning streak with a 4-0 win at home to Hartlepool in the Carabao Cup and continued their 100 per cent record with a 2-1 win at home to West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.

Home advantage played a part in last season’s clashes with Blackburn beating Reading 2-0 at Ewood Park in October and Reading claiming a 1-0 win at the SCL Stadium in March.

The boss

Jon Dahl Tomasson: Former Denmark international striker Tomasson was appointed Blackburn manager this summer, succeeding Tony Mowbray, who spent five years in charge of Rovers. Tomasson was previously in charge of Swedish top-flight side Malmo FF and led them to back-to-back league titles and the Champions League group stages in 2021, before leaving the club last December.

Tomasson spent a season with Newcastle as a player in 97/98, scoring four goals in 35 appearances, then played for Feyenoord, AC Milan, Stuttgart and Villarreal.

Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images

Crew

Blackburn’s biggest transfer deal so far this summer saw attacking midfielder Sammie Szmodics sign from League One Peterborough for an undisclosed fee. Rovers have also bought right-back Callum Brittain from Barnsley and young midfielder Tyler Morton on loan from Liverpool.

The biggest exits include central midfielder Joe Rothwell joining Premier League side Bournemouth, defender Darragh Lenihan signing for Middlesbrough and right-back Ryan Nyambe joining newly promoted Wigan Athletic.

Defender Scott Wharton missed Sunday’s game against West Brom with a calf injury and will likely miss the trip down south this week. Substitute Ash Phillips was injured in the game against West Brom but is expected to recover in time for Wednesday’s clash.

Expected composition

Kaminski, Brittain, Ayala, Phillips, Pickering, Travis, Buckley, Gallagher, Szmodics, Brereton, Hedges

key player

Ben Brereton Diaz: Striker Brereton Diaz was Rovers’ top scorer last season, scoring 22 goals in 38 appearances. He signed for Blackburn in August 2018, initially on loan from Nottingham Forest, although the move was made permanent in January 2019. He can play as a striker or on the outside and is an energetic striker with finishing skills impressive.

The 23-year-old made his international debut for Chile in June last year after qualifying thanks to his mother, who is Chilean. Brereton Diaz scored on his debut against Bolivia and has since won 14 caps, scoring four goals.

One to watch

Tyhrys Dolan: Tricky winger Dolan joined Blackburn in July 2020 following his release from Preston North End. The former Manchester City academy player is a quick wide player who likes to run into defences. Dolan, 20, made 79 appearances for Rovers, scoring nine goals.

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