Blackburn vs Sunderland predictions: Home comforts the key
There was little to separate Blackburn and Sunderland in last season's Championship table and the same can be said of the pair this term as they boast identical records with 10 points amassed each.
The Black Cats ultimately finished an all-important one place above Rovers last season to sneak into the last play-off position, thanks to a superior goal difference – and that is the difference maker once again, with Sunderland seven goals better off.
Jon Dahl Tomasson may still will be ruing an eight-game winless run at the end of last season, that ultimately rendered the dramatic final-day win over Millwall redundant as Sunderland won 3-0 at Preston.
Still, that missed opportunity may be a spur for Tomasson's men as they look to go at least one better this time around and make the play-offs.
Tomasson may be reluctant to tinker too much with the line-up that saw off Middlesbrough 2-1 on Saturday and is hopeful that Lewis Travis and Sam Gallagher can shake off knocks that forced them off at the weekend.
Joe Rankin-Costello made his return from injury as a substitute at the weekend and could start should Travis be ruled out, although Jake Garrett and Sondre Tronstad are other options.
Semir Telalovic replaced Gallagher for his debut against Boro and could step in from the start, while Andrew Moran is pressing for a recall with Tyrhys Dolan's place under threat.
As for Sunderland, Pierre Ekwah is set to miss out after being forced off in the 3-1 win over QPR, with Alex Pritchard in line to replace him.
Dennis Cirkin and Bradley Dack both missed the win over the Hoops and are doubtful, although the latter will be desperate to return to face his former club.
Both sides share identical records of won three, drawn one and losing two of their opening six games in the Championship this season.
Only the top two won more than Blackburn's tally of 13 home wins in the Championship last season, while only the top two bettered Sunderland's 11 away victories.
The home side in this fixture has won the last five meetings in the head-to-head record between these two, while the away side has not won any of the last 11 meetings in all competitions.
Sunderland have not scored on their last three visits to Ewood Park, losing 2-0 there for the last two seasons, having won the home fixture 2-1 each time.
Blackburn's success last season was built on a strong home record and the early signs are that a similar prospect is in store.
The Black Cats fared better on their travels than they did at the Stadium of Light last term, which potentially sets up a thriller on Wednesday, but that form has not transferred to this season so far.
Tony Mowbray's side may be coming into this match on the back of an away win but they were trailing 1-0 at QPR before being given a massive helping hand by Jack Colback's red card, and have yet to click on the road.
Given the home side's dominance in this match-up and Blackburn's Ewood Park form from last season, coupled with the fact that they have in-form Sammie Szmodics in their ranks, Rovers can come out on top.
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