Date: 29th November 2014 at 8:04am
Written by:

Blackburn Rovers visit a Middlesbrough side that could quite possibly be our toughest Championship challenge so far when we take them on at the Riverside Stadium this afternoon.

Gary Bowyer knows that we’re an in-form side in the Championship but he’ll (and we’ll) also know that Middlesbrough aren’t any slouches either with Victor Karanka putting together a very good squad that’ll keep up a promotion challenge this season it appears.

Middlesbrough can claim a record of just one defeat in the thirteen Championship matches that they’ve played this season with them unbeaten in their last six matches (which includes three wins) at the Riverside Stadium and not beaten at home in the League since Reading beat them 1-0 (the 30th of August).

Rovers aren’t going along badly mind are we when it comes to recent form as we’ve extended our unbeaten run to eight matches and you’ve got to go back to the 30th of September for the last match that we lost (3-0 to Rotherham) and we’ve only been beaten once in our last six away.

The last encounter ended in a 0-0 draw at the Riverside Stadium (February), however, we’ve only managed to win once since 2007 (that was the 1-0 win at Ewood Park in November last year), and that’s in seven meetings. Draws are quite common at the Riverside though as Middlesbrough have only beaten us once in the last seven meetings on home soil (Boxing Day 2012) since a win in 2005.

Middlesbrough will be without Adam Clayton (suspension) after a fifth booking of the season ruled him out. George Friend, Ryan Fredericks and Albert Adomah are also a booking away from a suspension. Damia Abella (knee), Jonathan Woodgate (thigh), Rhys Williams (Achilles) and Muzzy Carayol (knee) are all injured.

Rovers are without a key midfielder too as Tom Cairney (suspension) will have to miss this match after his sending off for two yellow cards in our comeback win against Leeds United last Saturday afternoon. Chris Brown should be part of the squad after coming back from injury. Still Jason Lowe, Josh King and Tommy Spurr are missing and Bowyer’s going to have to make a change in goal as Middlesbrough loanee Jason Steele isn’t able to face his parent club.

This is certainly a match that I don’t think too many of us would be unhappy to take a point from so if we can get this (and repeat the last meeting) we’ll take it now!! I’d definitely like something more but will be content with that if we can manage it, that’s all I’ll say today!!

Join The Vital Debate