Blackburn Rovers return to Championship action after the October international break on Saturday afternoon, when they host Coventry City at Ewood Park.
Tony Mowbray’s side go into the game eighth in the second-tier standings, after back to back defeats immediately prior to the week’s hiatus the first real source of frustration in an otherwise strong start to the season.
Coventry meanwhile, have enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign, and go into the game third in the Championship table, only outside the automatic promotion places on goal difference.
Mowbray therefore, will no doubt be desperate to get one over his old side when they make the trip to Lancashire this weekend.
So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at two things the Blackburn manager will need to weigh up ahead of that game, right here.
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Will Brereton-Diaz be available?
The scheduling of South American World Cup qualifiers looks set to impact plenty of English clubs this weekend, and the rapid rise of Ben Brereton, means Blackburn are set to be one of them.
Having opened the scoring for Chile in their crucial win over Paraguay on Monday, Brereton is surely set to start for La Roja when they face Venezuela in their final game of this round of internationals. That match is set to start at 1:00am on Friday morning UK time, just 38 hours before Rovers are due to kick off against Coventry.
Given Brereton will also have a huge journey to get back to Ewood Park ahead of the game, Mowbray will have a big call to make about whether to risk the 22-year-old, who sits joint-top of the Championship scoring charts this season, given the physical and mental challenge of such a quick turnaround.
That situation will not be made easier either, by the sight of Blackburn’s other senior striker, Sam Gallagher, being forced off shortly before half time at Blackpool in the final game before the break.
Who plays in defence?
Many of a Rovers persuasion will argue that their two defeats to Huddersfield and Blackpool before the international break, were down to the absence of Ryan Nyambe and Darragh Lenihan.
While Nymabe ought to have had more than enough time to recover from the concussion that forced him off early on at Huddersfield, the severity of the groin injury that kept Lenihan out of those games has so far been less clear.
As a result, Mowbray must now decide whether or not to risk his captain for this clash, while bearing in mind that his side have won just four of 28 games Lenihan has not featured in since the start of 2018/19 season.
On the one hand, playing Lenihan against Coventry, if he is not yet fully fit, could lead to him aggravating the injury and handing him a longer spell on the sidelines. By contrast, not playing him could leave a defence that has already been exposed without him recently – to some significant cost to Rovers – even more vulnerable to a very much in form Viktor Gyokeres.