Nottingham Forest will make the trip to Lancashire on Saturday as they take on Blackburn Rovers in their first away match of the 2013-14 season (kick-off 3pm).The Reds are through to the second round of the Capital One Cup and already have three league points on the board after a successful opening two matches, but this weekend they face a tough assignment against an experienced Rovers side.
Despite having a poor record at Ewood Park - Forest haven’t won there since May 1999 - Billy Davies and his men will be confident of getting a positive result in the North West.
Simon Cox will miss the match after picking up an ankle injury in the win over Hartlepool. Matt Derbyshire, Darius Henderson and Ishmael Miller will all be competing to start up front while Jamie Paterson will hope his Man of the Match performance in midweek can earn him a starting berth.
Gary Bowyer made eight changes to his side for the cup defeat at Carlisle United on Wednesday night and will bring his first team players back in for this game. On the injury front, Ruben Rochina suffered a dislocated shoulder in the draw at Derby and could be replaced by Leon Best, whose goal grabbed a point at Pride Park.
After opening their Championship campaign with a home win over Huddersfield Town, The Reds backed that result up with a comfortable 3-1 win against Hartlepool United in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
Goals from Radoslaw Majewski, Greg Halford and Derbyshire were enough to ease Forest beyond their League Two opponents to set up a second round tie at home to Millwall.
Chesterfield (A)* – Drew 1-1
Royal Antwerp (H)* – Drew 2-2
Walsall (A)* – Won 2-1
Motherwell (A)* – Drew 1-1
Huddersfield (H) – Won 1-0
Hartlepool (H) – Won 3-1
Rovers, now under the stewardship of Gary Bowyer, have endured a steady if unspectacular start to their 2013-14 campaign.
After Best’s 89th-minute equaliser handed them a 1-1 draw at Derby County in their opening game, Rovers were the victims of a cup upset on Wednesday night as they were knocked out on penalties by Carlisle United.
Crewe Alexandra (A)* - Won 1-0
Rochdale (A)* - Drew 2-2
Preston North End (A)* - Drew 1-1
Everton (H)* - Lost 3-1
Derby (A) – Drew 1-1
Carlisle (A) – Drew 3-3**
** Lost 4-3 on penalties
Down The Years
Forest wins over Blackburn: 32 (29 League, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cup)
Blackburn wins over Forest: 49 (44 League, 3 FA Cup, 2 League Cup)
Draws: 28 (25 League, 2 FA Cup, 1 League Cup)
Last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a comfortable 3-0 victory for Blackburn in the New Year’s Day clash at Ewood Park.
In Alex McLeish’s second match in charge, The Reds slipped to defeat as second half goals from Rochina, Jordan Rhodes and Colin Kazim-Richards sealed a straightforward win for then-managerless Rovers.
The result was tough on McLeish’s men as they slipped to 11th in the Championship table, but still only three points off the final playoff place.
He Played For Both
Andrew Cole made an £8million move from Manchester United to Blackburn Rovers in December 2001 and went on to spend two-and-a-half years at Ewood Park, scoring 37 goals.
The Nottingham-born striker then joined The Reds on a free transfer from Sunderland in July 2008, going on to make 11 appearances in the garibaldi before announcing his retirement in November of the same year.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant Referees: Neil Sharp and James Wilson
Fourth Official: Philip Dermott
Sky Bet have Forest priced at 17/10 to beat Blackburn, with the draw 23/10.
Derbyshire is 15/2 to be the first goalscorer against his former club. The odds for him to score at any time are 5/2.
Check out all of the latest odds on Sky Bet.
(All odds correct at time of publishing)
Tickets and Travel
There are a number of away tickets remaining for this fixture. Tickets will remain on sale at the Forest Ticket Office in person and via the booking line until 12pm on Friday 9 August. Should any supporters be unable to collect any pre-paid tickets from the Forest Ticket Office, then a limited number of collections will be available on the day from the Away Ticket Office at the Darwen End of Ewood Park, near to the away turnstiles.
Coach travel will depart from The Brian Clough Stand car park at 10am and is priced at £15.00.
Follow The Game
Live audio commentary will be available on Forest Player, as well as free live text commentary.
Forest Player will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Sunday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp.