A season that promised so much for Blackburn Rovers looks set to be derailed by a crippling injury-list which has seen Tony Mowbray's side drop from Play-Off chasers into mid-table.
When Rovers beat Luton Town 1-0 in late January they stood eighth in the table, just three points outside the Play-Off places, having taken 28 points from their previous 15 league matches.
With a host of key players missing, they then took just one point from a possible 21 before this week's victory at Millwall and midweek draw at home to Swansea City lifted them back up to 14th.
Tony Mowbray may well point to the small margins going against Rovers. Their last 11 defeats have all come by just one goal and they have the best goal difference outside the top eight.
With 49 goals to their name, only four sides, including Brentford, have scored more than them, but, with 40 goals against, only Bristol City (48) of the sides above them have conceded more goals.
Behind Adam Armstrong (19), who will miss out tonight due to injury, Ben Brereton is their next top scorer with five goals. Highly-rated Liverpool loanee Harvey Elliott (above) has been their creator in chief this season with nine assists, putting him behind only Emi Buendia in the divisional charts.
Pontus Jansson is closing in on a return from an ankle injury while Christian Norgaard and Emiliano Marcondes both played 80 minutes for Brentford B on Sunday. Charlie Goode came through the full 90 in that same game but Rico Henry (hamstring), Josh Dasilva (hip), Shandon Baptiste (knee), and Luka Racic (back) remain sidelined.
Bradley Johnson (hamstring), Bradley Dack (knee), Tom Trybull (back), Corry Evans (fractured skull) and Joe Rankin-Costello (hamstring) have all returned to bolster Mowbray's ranks in recent weeks and the Rovers boss revealed yesterday that he may also have Lewis Holtby (knee) and Jarrad Branthwaite (illness) back tonight as well. Top scorer Adam Armstrong is out with a tendon issue as are Scott Wharton (achilles), Jacob Davenport, and Daniel Ayala (both groin).
Tony Mowbray passed 200 games and four years in charge at Blackburn Rovers last month, with a win percentage of more than 41 during his time in Lancashire so far.
A distinguished defender in his playing days for Middlesbrough, Celtic, and Ipswich Town, Mowbray was handed his first managerial job at Hibernian in 2004. In October 2006, Mowbray was appointed Manager of West Bromwich Albion. He led The Baggies to the Championship title in his second season at The Hawthorns.
Celtic came calling in June 2009, before Mowbray returned to former club Middlesbrough in October 2010. Mowbray left Boro in October 2013 and took charge of Coventry City from March 2015 to September 2016.
Under his managerment, Blackburn secured an immediate return to the Championship as runners-up following relegation in 2016/17, finishing 15th and 11th in their two seasons back in the second tier.
⚖ Geoff Eltringham will be the man in charge tomorrow
🆚 Andy Bayes of BBC Radio Lancashire previews Rovers
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