Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Hull City – prediction, team news, lineups

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

Both on the back of relatively positive starts to the Championship season, Blackburn Rovers and Hull City will meet at Ewood Park on Saturday in the third round of league fixtures.

The hosts played out a 2-2 draw with Rotherham United last weekend after an opening-day victory, while the visitors put their first points on the board in a 4-2 beating of Sheffield Wednesday.

Match preview

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

Blackburn Rovers head into the weekend on the back of what has been a relatively positive start to their second season under the management of Jon Dahl Tomasson, after falling just short of the playoffs last term, having finished seventh with 69 points and only outside of the playoff spots on goal difference.

They set out to build on that this time around and improve further, despite a tough summer, and the Lancashire outfit enjoyed an impressive opening-day victory at home to West Bromwich Albion, having gone ahead through Dilan Markanday, before Harry Leonard instantly added a second and the Rovers stood strong to see out a 2-1 triumph after Matt Phillips pulled one back for the visitors early in the second half.

Tomasson’s side then met Walsall in an EFL Cup first-round tie at Ewood Park and progressed with a 4-3 triumph from an eventful contest, as Zak Gilsenan and Niall Ennis initially drew them level on two separate occasions, before Jake Garrett and John Buckley established a lead with second-half goals.

Following that perfect start to the term, Blackburn most recently travelled to take on Rotherham United in their second Championship outing last Saturday, and after Sammie Szmodics failed to convert a penalty, they would see the hosts go 2-0 up through Hakeem Odoffin and Fred Onyedinma, only for the latter to quickly be sent off in the 50th minute, before Szmodics popped up with a brace in the final 15 minutes to salvage a point.

While the Rovers will not be overly pleased with that result, they can be encouraged by the resilience after an opening-day win, and they will be keen to extend their unbeaten start to the season and put another home win on the board this weekend.

Hull City manager Liam Rosenior on March 15, 2023© Reuters

They welcome a Hull City side who find themselves kicking off their first full season under Liam Rosenior‘s management after his appointment late last year, in their bid to improve on the 15th-placed finish he guided them to last time around.

The Tigers were tasked with a trip to Norwich City on the opening day, and after Liam Delap put them ahead in the first half and Jon Rowe levelled the scores on the stroke of half time, Rosenior’s men looked set to come away with a creditable point, only for Adam Idah to tap in a winner for the hosts deep into injury time.

The Yorshire outfit would then suffer further disappointment soon afterwards, at the hands of former manager Grant McCann and his Doncaster Rovers side, as the fourth-tier outfit dumped the Tigers out of the EFL Cup first round with a 2-1 away victory, courtesy of George Miller‘s brace after Oscar Estupinan opened the scoring inside three minutes.

On the back of those two defeats, Hull would then score a first victory of the season last weekend, when they again hosted Yorkshire rivals in the form of Sheffield Wednesday, as Juan Delgado opened the scoring for the hosts before Ozan Tufan turned the contest on its head with a hat-trick including a penalty and two impressive strikes, and Aaron Connolly would go on to net his side’s fourth before Michael Smith added an injury-time consolation for the Owls.

Now with renewed confidence from that dominant display and three-point haul on home turf, Rosenior’s side will be keen to build at the weekend and leave Ewood Park with a positive result.

Blackburn Rovers Championship form:

Blackburn Rovers form (all competitions):

Hull City Championship form:

Hull City form (all competitions):

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Team News

Blackburn Rovers manager Jon Dahl Tomasson before the match on March 4, 2023© Reuters

Jon Dahl Tomasson only made one change to his Blackburn Rovers starting XI between their opening-day win over West Bromwich Albion and the trip to Rotherham United and the weekend, and we should again see a very similar setup, with Adam Wharton likely to again be given the nod alongside Lewis Travis in the engine room in a 4-2-3-1 shape.

Following his brace at the weekend, Sammie Szmodics is bound to again play a starring role in a supporting trio behind a lone striker, with Tyrhys Dolan and Dilan Markanday both likely to keep their places on the wings, while Harry Leonard will hope to keep his place up front amid competition from Sam Gallagher and Niall Ennis.

At the other end of the pitch, Dominic Hyam and Hayden Carter will continue their partnership at the heart of a back four, while Aynsley Pears will likely remain first-choice goalkeeper at Ewood Park following Thomas Kaminski‘s summer departure for Luton Town.

Hull City could be unchanged from their 4-2 beating of Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, and Ozan Tufan will certainly continue to play a key role at the tip of the midfield after his hat-trick in that meeting, although Aaron Connolly is hoping to come in from the outset after extending their lead off the bench in that game with his first goal of the season after making his loan move from Brighton & Hove Albion permanent over the summer.

He will hope to displace either Adama Traore or Jason Lokilo on the wings, with Ryan Longman also hoping to come in out wide, while Manchester City loanee Liam Delap should again be preferred up front over Oscar Estupinan.

Elsehwere, Jean-Michael Seri and Regan Slater should both keep their places in the engine room, while Alfie Jones and Sean McLoughlin should again partner up at the heart of a back four with Jacob Greaves shifted out to a left-back role.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Pears; Rankin-Costello, Hyam, Carter, Pickering; Travis, Wharton; Markanday, Szmodics, Dolan; Gallagher

Hull City possible starting lineup:
Ingram; Coyle, Jones, McLoughlin, Greaves; Seri, Slater; Traore, Tufan, Connolly; Delap

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We say: Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Hull City

Blackburn Rovers have started the season on the front foot, and while Hull City will travel with confidence following their dominant display last weekend, we do not anticipate them doing enough to take a share of the spoils at Ewood Park.

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

Top tip

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