By Kathryn Batte
The Rovers Return: City looking for first win against Blackburn
After progressing to the second round of the Carabao Cup following a penalty shoot-out victory over Sheffield Utd on Tuesday, Nigel Adkins will be hoping his side can continue that form into the league for the visit of Blackburn Rovers tomorrow.
The newly promoted side also won during the week, thumping League 2’s Carlisle United 5-1, and have started life in the Championship promisingly. An opening day 2-2 draw away to Ipswich Town showcased their attacking capabilities and only a fine goalkeeping performance from Millwall’s Jordan Archer stopped them from taking maximum points last Saturday. Rovers’ Bradley Dack was voted League One Player of the Year last season and has three goals in his last three games. Adam Armstrong, who signed from Newcastle at the end of the transfer window following a successful loan spell last season, scored twice on Tuesday and has the potential to cause the City defence problems.
A familiar face will also be making a return to the KCOM tomorrow. Danny Graham, who spent half of the 2013/2014 season on-loan to the Tigers, scored 13 goals for Blackburn last year but is yet to get off the mark this campaign. Graham only managed one goal in black and amber in what was a frustrating spell for the striker. However, the forward has a habit of scoring against his former teams with his only goal for City coming in a 1-0 away win against his old club Swansea.
Whilst Blackburn have shown they can score goals, Adkins will be encouraged by his side’s last two defensive performances. Following a poor start against Aston Villa, defender Jordy de Wijs was much improved against Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday, as was goalkeeper David Marshall who also produced some fine saves in Tuesday’s cup tie. There may be an injury concern over Reece Burke, who was forced off early in the first half on Tuesday, but Angus MacDonald would be a capable replacement should Burke be ruled out.
A first league goal for Fraizer Campbell last Saturday was encouraging and it’s hard to argue with the striker’s claim that this is the fittest he’s been in a long time. Jon Toral could have played his way into the starting XI following his midweek performance and Jackson Irvine may also have staked a claim. With City facing Rotherham next Tuesday, you feel that Adkins should be aiming for at least 4 points from his side’s next two games if they are to have any ambitions for this season. Both may be newly promoted sides but seem to possess a certain team camaraderie and City will have to prove if they take the lead, they can hold on to it.