Tonight’s trip to Ewood Park is huge for Derby County.
Coventry City’s victory last night has left them teetering just above the bottom three and their four-point cushion over Rotherham United looks under threat as the Millers have two games in hand.
Defeats to promotion-chasers Reading and Norwich City were disappointing for the Rams but to be expected given the form chart, which makes their clash against a freefalling Blackburn Rovers side a huge opportunity to claim some vital points.
A win would catapult Derby to 18th ahead of Saturday’s fixtures and put the pressure back on their relegation rivals.
Rooney will be hamstrung by injury issues once again, however, with a significant number of players sidelined due to injury.
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Martyn Waghorn and Lee Gregory are both out due to hamstring problems, while fellow striker Jack Stretton won’t return until next season due to a calf issue.
Rangers loanee George Edmundson is missing as he’s recovering from hernia surgery, while Matt Clarke is a doubt due to the groin problem that’s kept him out of their last two games.
Long-term absentees Krystian Bielik and Curtis Davies remain unavailable, while tonight’s game is likely to come too soon for Jordan Ibe.
There is some good news, however, with Nathan Byrne set to be available after missing recent games due to a head injury.
David Marshall looks certain to reprise his role in goal, with Byrne returning at right-back to join Lee Buchanan, Andre Wisdom, and Teden Mengi in the back four.
Graeme Shinnie and Max Bird have proven a trusted holding midfield duo recently and will surely be in the side once again this evening.
With Rooney’s forward options limited due to injuries, it would be a surprise to see him opt for anyone but Colin Kazim-Richards up top.
Behind him a three of Tom Lawrence, Jason Knight, and Kamil Jozwiak seems likely.