Blackburn vs Middlesbrough predictions: Rovers to return to winning ways
- Blackburn have lost one of their last eight matches against Middlesbrough
- Middlesbrough have not won any of their last eight Championship fixtures
- Recommended bet: Blackburn to win
Middlesbrough were among the pre-season favourites for promotion, but they propped up the Championship table during the international break and are under pressure as they prepare for a tough fixture against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Boro have picked up just one point from five games and a lack of confidence was evident when they lost 2-0 at home to QPR last time out.
Blackburn have had a much better start, although they dropped into the bottom half with a 3-0 loss at Plymouth Argyle.
Rovers had scored in every game before their fruitless trip to Devon and will be aiming for a much better result this weekend.
Blackburn attacking duo Niall Ennis and Arnor Sigurdsson are pushing to return to the side after lay-offs and deadline day acquisition Semir Telalovic hopes to feature for the first time since his arrival from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Joe Rankin-Costello (hamstring) is a doubt, but Dominic Hyam should be available after illness.
Middlesbrough centre-back Matt Clarke (back) has returned to training, but he may have to be patient having spent a year on the sidelines.
Right-sided defender Anfernee Dijksteel (leg) has not featured this season, but left-back Alex Bangura could be involved for the first time after his deadline day switch from Cambuur.
Blackburn had the fourth best home record in the Championship last season, collecting 43 points from 23 games.
They scored in eight successive competitive games before their 3-0 reverse at Plymouth last time out.
Rovers have lost just one of their last eight fixtures against Middlesbrough.
A lack of offensive potency has been an issue for Middlesbrough, who are the lowest scorers in the division with three goals in five matches.
Boro have not won any of their last eight Championship fixtures and their last three defeats have been by at least two goals.
Middlesbrough seem to be suffering from an extended play-off hangover and their troubles could increase with a loss to Blackburn in Lancashire.
The international break was probably a welcome interlude for Boro manager Michael Carrick, who has had two weeks to work with the bulk of his squad.
Carrick's side are likely to improve as the season progresses, but a first league win will be tough to achieve against Rovers, who are used to winning on home turf.
Rovers had the fourth best home record in the Championship last term and they will be hopeful of maintaining their excellence at Ewood Park.
Jon Dahl Tomasson's side were beaten 3-0 at Home Park a fortnight ago, but they were far more competitive than the scoreline suggests.
Rovers created some excellent chances against Plymouth and their failure to score was probably a temporary aberration.
They possess plenty of talent and variety in attack and might be a little too strong for Boro, who are yet to prove that they can cope without last season's top scorer Chuba Akpom.
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