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Scouting Report: Blackburn Rovers (Home)

Can the Royals stop Graham and Dack?

Blackburn Rovers v Peterborough United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Blackburn are the visitors to the Madjeski on Wednesday evening as the Royals look for a positive result off back-to-back clean sheets. The arrivals of Emi Martinez and Matt Miazga have certainly improved the Royals defensively.

However, Rovers’ Bradley Dack and Danny Graham will be hoping to continue what has been a fantastic season for both of them. Dack has been involved in 16 league goals so far this campaign (11 goals, 5 assists), while Graham has scored 10 times and got 3 assists. Both players could potentially add to that in Berkshire on Wednesday night.

Tony Mowbray’s side like to get the ball wide a lot and use their full backs and wingers to create chances for their central players like Dack and Graham. Only 26% of their play so far this season has come through the middle of the park, and this means that Reading’s full backs will be in for a busy evening on Wednesday.

Brentford v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Blackburn forward Adam Armstrong has started 2019 in a rich vein of form, with three goals and assists since the turn of the year. This change in form was rewarded with the Sky Bet Championship player of the month award for January, so he will be hoping to continue that in Berkshire and prove why he was a deserving winner.

Even though Rovers have the capability to score goals and take the lead, one of their main weaknesses is defending it. A prime example is when they faced Brentford ten days ago and went on 2-0 up early on, but ended up losing 5-2. Brentford dominated the game that day with 61% of the possession, so if the Royals can stick to their style of play, we may be in with a chance.

The issue Reading have had in recent years is that they seem to give up when they go behind, and they can’t do that while in a relegation battle. Fortunately, José Gomes seems to have brought a bit of fight back into the team and hopefully they are up for the fight in some of these tougher games towards the end of the season.

Prediction time

I am going to go with an optimistic 1-0 win for the Royals. They have massively improved defensively and, hopefully, with Nelson Oliveira back fit (fingers crossed) we can convert some of the chances we create in the final third.