Saturday’s opponents Blackburn Rovers narrowly missed out on a Play-Off place by two points last season – and they’ll just be on the periphery again this term.
This may be due to the amount of the games that Rovers have drawn in this campaign. Three of their last four matches have ended in a stalemate and with 15 of their games ending deadlocked this season, only three more clubs in the division have played out more draws.
However, Rovers have been on an impressive run away from Ewood Park. The club has not lost an away match since a 1-0 defeat at table toppers Watford on 7 February. This eight game stretch includes the thoroughly deserved 0-0 draw at Anfield in the FA Cup quarter final, showing Gary Bowyer’s men know how to execute a game plan.
His side come in to the game on a Saturday afternoon on the back of a 2-0 win at home over Championship strugglers Millwall in midweek, with both goals coming in the final 15 minutes. On the score sheet for Rovers in the win was the familiar pairing of Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes, despite the latter starting on the bench.
Gestede (pictured above) is enjoying the best season of his career so far, with the big Benin striker bagging 20 goals in all competitions over the course of the season. At 6 foot 4, Gestede is an aerial presence with the physical ability to bully the opposing centre backs, and having notched nine goals with his head so far this term - a league high - he is always a danger from any ball into the box. With four goals in his past two matches, including a hat trick against Nottingham Forest, Gestede is very much a man in form.
The other man in Bowyer’s formidable front two needs no introduction to Huddersfield fans. Having enjoyed three prolific seasons in front of the Terriers’ faithful, Rhodes is only one goal away from his twentieth of the campaign, a feat he is looking to accomplish for the sixth successive season. Town fans will however not have happy memories from the last time Rhodes played at the John Smith’s Stadium, as he scored a hat trick in a 4-2 win in this fixture last campaign.
The pairing have netted 37 league goals between them so far this season, contributing sixty percent of Blackburn’s 61 goals.
Blackburn come into the weekend’s match with a host of defensive injuries, which were compounded when Captain Matt Kilgallon was substituted with a thigh injury during the midweek game. This has seen Rovers put together a makeshift back four, with winger Ben Marshall playing at right back, and left back Tommy Spurr filling in at centre back.
For Town, manager Chris Powell has a near fully fit squad to pick from with James Vaughan having a chance of featuring, after he missed the previous two fixtures after picking up an injury in the win over Nottingham Forest.
Blackburn’s last line-up (4-4-2):
GK Jason Steele
DL Marcus Olsson (pictured below)
DC Tommy Spurr
DC Matt Kilgallon
DR Ben Marshall
ML Paul Taylor
MC Corey Evans
MC Jay Spearing
MR Craig Conway
S Chris Brown
S Rudy Gestede
Tickets for Saturday's game are just £5 for home supporters who purchase before midnight on Friday - click HERE
for full info!
Ahead of Saturday's game, Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers will join fellow Football League clubs in holding a minute's silence in honour of the victims of the Bradford City fire disaster 30 years ago.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the North Stand Loyal group (click HERE
for info), Town will line-up with the flag below for the minute's silence at the John Smith's Stadium.
There will also be comments from Bradford City and former manager Peter Jackson in Saturday's edition of Give Us An H