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Opposition Lowdown: Blackburn Rovers Looking To Bolster Playoff Bid

Reading’s third game in nine days sees the Royals make the trip up to Lancashire to face Blackburn Rovers. Join us as we take a look at the opposition.

Blackburn Rovers v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by John Early/Getty Images


Blackburn finished last season in eighth place in the Championship, six points outside the playoffs. They are having another strong season and look to be in playoff contention again, as they currently sit in fifth place in the league following 18 wins, four draws and 14 losses.

Their home form has been stronger than their away form, with 12 of their wins coming at Ewood Park, whereas 10 of their losses have come away from home. Their recent form has been strong, with Rovers winning four of their last five matches, with the one loss coming in their Friday night fixture away to Stoke City.

The two sides last faced each other last August, with Reading claiming a 3-0 victory at the Select Car Leasing Stadium after goals from Tom McIntyre, Junior Hoilett and Lucas Joao.

The boss

Jon Dahl Tomasson: Former Danish International striker Tomasson was appointed Blackburn manager last summer, taking over from Tony Mowbray, who spent five years in charge of Rovers.

Tomasson was previously in charge of Swedish top-flight side Malmo FF and led them to two consecutive league titles and into the Champions League group stages in 2021, before leaving the club in December 2021.

He spent a season with Newcastle United as a player back in 1997/98, scoring four goals in 35 appearances and later played for Feyenoord, AC Milan, Stuttgart and Villarreal.

The Dane has had a strong start to life as a manager in England. He likes his teams to control possession and build from the back.

Reading v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship - Select Car Leasing Stadium Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images


Blackburn only managed to bring in one player during the January transfer window, with winger Sorba Thomas joining Rovers on loan from Huddersfield Town. Paperwork issues scuppered a loan move for Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis O’Brien and a permanent move for Rochdale midfielder Ethan Brierley.

Midfielder John Buckley will miss out of Wednesday’s game after being ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury sustained in Rovers’ last game against Stoke. Goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, defenders Daniel Ayala and Scott Wharton, midfielder Bradley Dack and striker Jack Vale are all also expected to miss out through injury.

Expected lineup

Pears, Rankin-Costello, Carter, Hyam, Pickering, Travis, Morton, Thomas, Dolan, Brereton, Gallagher

Key player

Ben Brereton Diaz: Forward Brereton Diaz was Rovers’ top scorer last season, netting 22 goals in 38 appearances. He signed for Blackburn back in August 2018, originally on loan from Nottingham Forest, but the move was made permanent in January 2019.

He can play as a striker or out wide and is an energetic forward with impressive finishing skills. The 23-year-old made his international debut for Chile in June 2021, after qualifying through his mother, who is Chilean. Brereton Diaz scored on his debut against Bolivia and has since won 17 caps, scoring four goals.

He is Rovers’ top scorer this season, with 11 goals to his name so far.

One to watch

Tyhrys Dolan: Tricky winger Dolan joined Blackburn in July 2020, following his release from Preston North End. The former Manchester City academy player is a pacey wide man who loves running at defenders.

The 21-year-old has made 79 appearance for Rovers, scoring nine goals. He has become a regular starter since the turn of the year and has six goals and six assists to his name so far this season.