Blackburn Rovers will be looking to return to winning ways on Tuesday night, when they host Middlesbrough at Ewood Park.
Back to back defeats at home to Reading and away at Swansea have seen Tony Mowbray’s side slip down the Championship table, meaning the pressure is already on them to prove they still have the ability to compete for a top six this season.
Admittedly, problems around player availability have now helped Rovers recently, and Mowbray will once again be without long-term absentees Bradley Dack (ACL), Lewis Travis (Knee), and Elliott Bennett (ankle) all missing out once again against ‘Boro, while Bradley Johnson, Amari’i Bell and Barry Douglas are still self-isolating and will not feature.
But who will Mowbray be able to call upon from the rest of his squad, as he looks to get one over on his former club on Tuesday night when Rovers host Middlesbrough in front of the Sky cameras?
Here, we take a look at the latest team news coming out of Ewood Park ahead of that game.
Armstrong has been a key player once again for Rovers this season, scoring nine goals in their nine league games so far.
But after being substituted late on in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat away at Swansea after a hamstring problem, the striker’s run of 95 consecutive league appearances will come to an end on Tuesday night.
Mowbray has confirmed that Armstrong will be rested against ‘Boro to prevent him aggravating that issue further, but says he could return on Saturday afternoon when Rovers host QPR, depending on how things play out on Tuesday.
Another player who looks set to miss out on Tuesday, is former Middlesbrough defender Ayala.
The centre back hasn’t featured in any of Rovers’ last three games since suffering a groin injury against Watford last month.
The Spaniard is being assessed on a day to day basis according to Mowbray, although it appears that Tuesday night’s game will come to soon for him to feature.
First choice goalkeeper Kaminski finds himself in a similar situation to Ayala ahead of the ‘Boro match.
The Belgian has missed those back to back defeats after picking up a groin injury of his own in the 4-0 win at Coventry just over a week ago.
Like Ayala, Kaminski is being monitored on a day by day basis, meaning it looks as though Aynsley Pears will once again be between the posts on Tuesday, pitting him against the club he only left on the final day of the summer transfer window.
After a summer of speculation about the possibility of a second season at Ewood Park, Stewart Downing’s future was finally confirmed on Monday, when it was announced that he has signed a new deal with Blackburn.
The midfielder is available to face his former club on Tuesday, although it appears unlikely that he will do so. Match fitness appears to be a concern for Mowbray with regards to Downing, who hasn’t played a competitive game since Rovers’ 1-0 defeat at Millwall on the 14th June.
As a result, the Blackburn boss intends to use the upcoming international break as an opportunity to get the 36-year-old ready for a return to action.
One boost for Blackburn ahead of the their meeting with ‘Boro, comes in the form of a possible return for midfielder Joe Rothwell.
The 25-year-old has missed Blackburn’s last two matches since he came out of a period of self-isolation due to a back problem, with Rovers missing his drive from midfield badly.
That however, could be something they are able to call upon ahead of their meeting with Neil Warnock’s side, with Mowbray revealing that Rothwell is in contention to feature at Ewood on Tuesday after making his return to training on Monday.