Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. West Bromwich Albion – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Championship clash between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Blackburn Rovers will begin their quest for promotion when they host West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon in the Championship.

Rovers were part of the playoff-chasing pack last term but ultimately fell short, and the same can be said for West Brom who need Premier League football more than most clubs.

Match preview

Blackburn Rovers manager Jon Dahl Tomasson on April 10, 2023© Reuters

Blackburn are heading into their sixth-straight campaign in the second tier following their automatic promotion from League One back in 2018, and the Rovers are slowly but surely making their way towards the top six.

The Lancashire were the height of functionality during the first half of the season in 2022-23, however a run of only one win in 10 matches to finish the campaign ended any hopes of a playoff finish.

Jon Dahl Tomasson has lost his leading marksmen in Ben Brereton Diaz over the summer break, with the goalscoring Chilean moving to La Liga club Villarreal at the expiration of his contract at Ewood Park.

Bradley Dack and Thomas Kaminski have left to join Sunderland and Luton Town respectively, meaning Blackburn still have work to do in the transfer window to ensure Tomasson’s side is one fit for a serious promotion charge.

A 3-2 loss against Spanish club Girona last Saturday ended Rovers’ hopes of ending pre-season unbeaten – supporters will be hoping they do not suffer back-to-back losses this weekend.

West Bromwich Albion manager Carlos Corberan on April 26, 2023© Reuters

In a division where many teams have been through drastic transformations this summer, West Brom are preparing for the 2023-24 campaign with largely the same squad which travelled to Swansea City on May 8 in last season’s final match.

There was a moment on that frantic Bank Holiday Monday when Okay Yokuslu‘s opener in South Wales had the Baggies in the playoffs ahead of Millwall and Sunderland, however by full-time Carlos Corberan knew his side had been sentenced to another year of Championship football.

With the Black Country outfit no longer receiving parachute payments from the Premier League, Albion have had to focus their attention on the free transfer and loan markets so far this summer, as shown with the arrival of Jeremy Sarmiento from Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Ecuadorian youngster played in all three of his nation’s matches at the 2022 World Cup and is highly rated by those on the South Coast – it appears that the Baggies have not lost their pulling power just yet.

That ability to attract top-quality players for the Championship is diminishing season-by-season for West Brom however, and with the likes of Leicester City and Southampton now plying their trades in the second tier, Albion are no longer a favourite for promotion back to the Premier League.

Blackburn Rovers form (all competitions):

West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions):

Team News

West Bromwich Albion's Alex Palmer celebrates at full time on December 12, 2022© Reuters

Blackburn boss Tomasson has admitted that his squad is stretched ahead of this weekend’s Championship opener, especially in forward areas, with Sam Gallagher and new signing Arnor Sigurdsson set to miss Saturday’s match.

Recent arrival Niall Ennis will be tasked with replacing the goalscoring threat of Brereton Diaz this term, however the former Plymouth Argyle striker is still building up his fitness so may not feature heavily at Ewood Park in this one.

West Brom will welcome goalkeeper Alex Palmer back to their matchday squad after the 26-year-old was left out of the team which travelled to Bolton Wanderers in a friendly last weekend due to transfer speculation.

Brandon Thomas-Asante is relishing the challenge of being Albion’s main striker this season, although the former Salford City man faces competition from Josh Maja, who arrived at the Hawthorns earlier this week.

Daryl Dike has the potential to be a Golden Boot winner in the Championship, however a poor run with injuries means he has failed to fully get going since his arrival from Orlando City last year – the American is set to be sidelined until December with his latest issue.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Rankin-Costello; Carter, Hyam, Pickering; Tronstad, Travis, Szmodics, Markanday; Dolan, Ennis

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Palmer; Furlong, Ajayi, Kipre, Townsend; Yokuslu, Mowatt, Wallace, Swift, Phillips; Thomas-Asante

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We say: Blackburn Rovers 1-2 West Bromwich Albion

Blackburn are heading this campaign slightly undercooked due to injuries and departures of key players, however Tomasson’s side are still likely to show glimpses of why they have impressed over the past few years.

West Brom will field a side who are very used to playing with each other from last season, and we reckon that chemistry will see the Baggies record an opening-day victory in Lancashire.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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