Playoff spots are at stake between Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers and Lee Johnson’s Bristol City at Ewood Park at 3pm on Saturday 20 June.
Bristol City are currently sitting in 7th just a point behind Preston North End, who occupy the final playoff spot, with Blackburn two points further back in 10th.
Although pre-suspension results may count for little, Blackburn will be hoping they can turn some of their recent draws into wins. Having drawn three of their past five games, this could be key in powering their playoff push.
A 6-0 loss to Liverpool in a behind closed doors friendly at Anfield will not have inspired huge confidence, although game time against the premier league leaders will hopefully pay dividends ahead of their championship run in.
Meanwhile, City will be hoping to start afresh as their form prior to the enforced stoppage was not that of a side expecting to achieve a playoff spot.
Without a win and with just two points from their past five games this contest against Blackburn provides an opportunity for the Robins to breathe new life into their campaign. A recent 3-2 loss in a friendly away at Southampton showed encouraging signs for Lee Johnson.
Bristol City 2-0 Blackburn Rovers (14/12/2019)
Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Bristol City (09/02/2019)
Bristol City 4-1 Blackburn Rovers (02/09/2018)
Despite the enforced break, Blackburn has injury concerns. At left-back, both Amari’i Bell and Derrick Williams are likely to be ruled out with injuries sustained in training, leaving regular midfielders Stewart Downing or 20-year-old Joe Rankin-Costello to fill this gap. Elsewhere, midfielder John Buckley will be unavailable due to suspension following his sending off in Rover’s most recent league game against Derby County back in March.
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has fewer worries with positive news in the return of striker Benik Afobe following a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in September. The robins also have Nakhi Wells in their ranks. The striker recently signed from Burnley following a loan spell with QPR, currently has 15 goals this campaign, and will be looking to make an impact with his new club.
Two teams with very similar records may cancel each other out, although with this being the first competitive action in a long-time, defensive errors could lead to goals.
Match Preview written by Will Edwards.