Saturday Championship predictions: Rovers to get back on track
There are no less than 10 Championship games taking place on Saturday, all with a kick-off time of 3pm, including Millwall's trip to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn.
Blackburn vs Millwall (Saturday, 3pm)
Seventh place entertains 13th on Saturday at Ewood Park and the form suggests there will be a winner with Blackburn and Millwall registering just one draw between them this season.
Jon Dahl Tomasson's appointment as Blackburn boss in the summer was an intriguing one, given the fact he has had limited managerial experience, but he has made a decent start to life in Lancashire.
The 46-year-old Dane has guided Rovers to seventh in the table — only outside of the play-off positions on goal difference — and his side have been entertaining to watch with 11 goals scored and 13 conceded.
Blackburn have secured home victories over QPR, West Brom and Watford this season, while also suffering defeats at Ewood Park to Stoke and Bristol City, but the more expansive style of football under Tomasson appears to be winning over the supporters.
Millwall are only two points behind Rovers in the table and they have been just as entertaining to watch as Saturday's opponents, with 11 goals scored and 14 conceded from their 10 league games.
Gary Rowett's side have been impressive at home — winning four of their six matches — but their away issues are clear to see with the Lions failing to win in their five road assignments across all competitions.
Millwall's away form is becoming a real issue for them, having taken just one point from a possible 12 in the league this season, and they may find it difficult to come away from Ewood Park with a positive result.
Blackburn have been a strong force at home, with those defeats to Stoke and Bristol City only via a one-goal margin, and Tomasson's men look like they will be able to chalk up another three points on Saturday.
Bristol City vs QPR (Saturday, 3pm)
Two other teams with play-off aspirations go head to head at Ashton Gate with just a point separating QPR and their hosts, Bristol City, in the early Championship standings.
It has been an entertaining start to the campaign for Bristol City, who have scored a joint league-high 19 goals but have also conceded 16 times — only Hull (21) have a worse defensive record.
Nigel Pearson's troops have lost their last two games, both away from home to Norwich and Burnley, but the Robins have racked up three consecutive 2-0 victories at Ashton Gate.
Saturday's visitors QPR occupy the final play-off position heading into this weekend and they have only lost one of their last six matches — that one blip a 1-0 defeat at Swansea at the start of September.
The Rs have triumphed in two of their last three away assignments, beating Watford 3-2 and Millwall 2-0 either side of that loss to the Swans, and Ashton Gate could be set for a goal-fest on Saturday.
The Robins' defence has let them down in recent outings, with seven goals conceded in their last three games, but they have scored in every league game this season and they should extend that record on home soil.
QPR have also looked sharp in attack and they have only failed to score in one of their last five away matches across all competitions.
With two attacking sides going at it in Bristol, both teams to score looks to be very much on the cards.
Sunderland vs Preston (Saturday, 3pm)
Sunderland are riding high in fifth after 10 games on their return to the Championship and they host Preston on Saturday, with the goal-shy visitors down in 15th place in the table.
Sunderland have already had to deal with adversity on their return to the second tier following the departure of manager Alex Neil to Stoke.
Tony Mowbray is now the man in charge of the Black Cats and he has made a decent start to his tenure — winning two, drawing one and losing one of his four matches.
Preston's season has been anything but exciting to date and they have only managed to score three goals from their 10 matches — the joint-lowest total in England's top three leagues.
North End have been solid at the back, as their record of four goals conceded is bettered by no side in the top four divisions in England, but their lack of potency has resulted in six draws from 10 league outings.
Sunderland have only suffered one loss at the Stadium of Light all season, with that coming under former boss Neil, and they should be confident of chalking up another victory.
Preston have just one win from their last eight matches across all competitions — that coming against rock-bottom Coventry — and the lack of confidence in front of goal could see them returning home with nothing to show for their efforts on Saturday.