Vitality Stadium Set for Huge Championship Encounter

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In-form Blackburn Rovers will aim to push a step closer to the automatic promotion places with a win over second-placed Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Tony Mowbray

There is another huge Saturday of Championship football to get stuck into with 11 matches taking place across the day, and huge attention is likely to be on the clash between promotion-chasing duo Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers at the Vitality Stadium.

With the games coming thick and fast over the busy festive period, there is the opportunity to start surging up the table and bolster promotion hopes, while a bad run could see a club hurtling towards the relegation zone.

Rovers Full of Confidence

It’s nearly a decade since Blackburn were last in the Premier League, the 2011-12 campaign the last time fans tasted top-flight football, but the PL champions of 1995 are mounting a serious challenge to get back into the Promised Land.

Since being thumped 7-0 at home to Fulham on November 3rd, Tony Mowbray’s men have embarked on a five-game unbeaten run, taking 13 points from the possible 15 on offer, and they have kept clean sheets in their last three matches.

Rovers, who sit fourth in the table and are seven points behind Saturday’s opponents, are playing some good football right now and they will fancy their chances of overcoming a stumbling Bournemouth side.

The Cherries suffered a shock 3-2 defeat to rock-bottom Derby on November 21st and they have followed that loss up with three consecutive draws, being held by Millwall, Coventry City and table-toppers Fulham.

Blackburn are unbeaten in their last three away games, winning two and drawing one, and they could be worth a go at 17/4 to clinch all three points at the Vitality, while the double chance at 6/5 also appeals.

Cottagers Eye Overdue Win

Top-of-the-table Fulham have seen their progress stunted in recent weeks, having drawn their last three matches, but they should be able to get back to winning ways when they travel to Luton Town on Saturday.

The Cottagers have the second-best away record in the Championship this season, taking 20 points from 10 games, and they have racked up impressive 7-0, 5-1, 4-1 and 4-0 victories on their travels.

Serbia international Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in fantastic form for Fulham and he leads the division’s scoring charts with 21. The former Newcastle star is 5/6 to net anytime and 5/2 to grab the first goal, something he has done 10 times this term for his club.

Luton did snap a four-game winless streak last time out, beating Blackpool 3-0, but the Hatters have won just four of their 10 home league games this season and they look set to be on the end of a defeat.

Lowe Hoping for Winning Start

Ryan Lowe will take charge of Preston North End for the first time this weekend following his appointment on Tuesday when his side welcome Barnsley to Deepdale for a relegation clash.

The former Plymouth Argyle boss has taken over a Preston side sitting 18th in the standings, nine points clear of the relegation zone and a further three ahead of 23rd-placed Barnsley.

The Lilywhites have won just one of their last five matches, but that is still better than Barnsley’s current form, who have tasted success just once from their last 19 games to leave them in deep trouble.

With Lowe now at the helm, Preston could get the new-manager bounce they are craving and it is 5/6 they claim the spoils on Saturday.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A single-handicapper, James always offers an interesting insight to the world of golf, with extensive knowledge of both the US and European Tours. James also has a wealth of information about the domestic and international football scene.
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