This is always one of the top local derby games in the Championship, with both of these local rivals poised to go head-to-head at Ewood Park. While Burnley probably have very little to play for this term, it’s a completely different story for Blackburn on the other hand as they look to increase the gap between them and the drop zone.
Considering the fact that Blackburn were playing Premiership football last term, it is incredible to think that they could be plying their trade in League One next year. Following a campaign of upheaval at Ewood Park, the club have really suffered on-the-field and sit just three points above the drop zone. Admittedly, a victory over their local rivals will provide them with a comfortable margin between the bottom three, but recent form suggests that their next three points are a long way off. Since taking over, Michael Appleton has only overseen poor form and their disappointing showing in their FA Cup tie against Millwall during the week was enough to frustrate the majority of supporters. Rovers have collected just one point from their last five Championship outings and if things don’t improve in the near future, a second successive relegation could become increasingly likely.
Opponents Burnley meanwhile are situated in a comfortable mid-table position and having collected forty eight points, one has to imagine that they are well on their way to safety. Nevertheless, while Sean Dyche might be putting plans in place for next term, he’ll want to see some improvement from his team following some recent poor form. The club managed to beat Charlton a couple of weeks ago, but other than that they have found results difficult to come by. Prior to that, their latest win came all the way back in mid-January, meaning that they are another side suffering a crisis in form as they prepare for this Lancashire derby.
As for team news, Blackburn have an avalanche of concerns with no fewer than eight players set to miss out. David Bentley, DJ Campbell, Lee Williamson, Bradley Orr, Josh King, Adam Henley, Markus Olsson, Dickson Etuhu and Colim Kazim-Richards are the men in question, meaning that Michael Appleton has some real selection headaches. It’s much quieter for the visitors meanwhile, with Sean Dyche actually welcoming back players to his squad. Ross Wallace, Michael Duff and Ben Mee should all return following recent injuries, although the Clarets won’t be able to turn to Dean Marney due to a thigh issue.
This is a clash involving two sides in absolutely dismal form, although with Blackburn having so many injury concerns we’re going to have to tip the visitors. Burnley haven’t enjoyed many positive results recently, but we think they could take advantage of Rovers’ frail squad with a 2-1 victory.