A comprehensive look ahead to our next Sky Bet Championship opponents
- Blackburn Rovers vs Huddersfield Town
- Saturday 20 January 2024, 3pm at Ewood Park
- Full preview underlining what to expect from hosts
Having last met on Boxing Day at the John Smith’s Stadium, Town will be looking to emulate a performance that saw them run out 3-0 winners against Blackburn Rovers.
Town’s last win in the Sky Bet Championship, the Lancashire side have been without league victory in that same period too, having last collected three points on 12 December at home against Bristol City, with five losses and a draw coming since.
Now in their sixth season in the Sky Bet Championship since promotion from Sky Bet League One in 2018, they had been at this level for five seasons prior after dropping down from the Premier League at the end of 2012 having been in the division since it was founded in 1992.
Blackburn Rovers are in their worst spell of the season to date, drawing just once in their last six games, which has seen them defeated on five occasions dating back to midway through December 2023. Having finished just outside of the top six last season, they don’t look likely to repeat that 7th place run this time out as they currently sit in 18th place, six points above Town. They have made three additions so far in January, signing Arnór Sigurðsson permanently from CSKA Moscow on 1 January 2024 before adding both Yasin Ayari and Ben Chrisene on loan from Premier League sides just a few days later.
Head Coach of Blackburn since June 2022, former Danish international forward Jon Dahl Tomasson had a highly successful first season in Lancashire, leading his side to a 7th placed finish, just missing out on the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs at the first time of asking. Hot and cold in the opening months of this campaign, a run between October and November saw them win six of eight outings, but Tomasson’s men have tasted victory just once since. With a contract until the summer of 2025, the 47-year-old has been in charge for 87 games to date, winning 40 times, losing 35 and drawing 12.
LAST TIME OUT
In the middle of a tough run, Blackburn’s last Sky Bet Championship fixture saw them on the wrong end of a 4-1 loss at the Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion, with Jake Garrett netting their only goal of the afternoon. Going down 3-0 before half-time, they pulled one back after the break but concede again within minutes, which cemented the result for the home side.
Previous Starting XI: Wahlstedt; Carter, Hyam, S Wharton, Brittain; A Wharton, Tronstad; Moran, Garrett, Sigurdsson; Leonard (4-2-3-1)
Settled in a 4-2-3-1, they have only strayed from that system once in their last 10 games, playing a slight variation at 4-1-3-2 which was in our reverse fixture that ended 3-0 in Town’s advantage at the John Smith’s Stadium in December on Boxing Day.
For a five game spell in October, they toyed with a 4-1-4-1 that saw them win three games in a row in between a pair of defeats. With a clear intention to have bodies in midfield able to drop when needed and also flood the final third, Blackburn have been in a number of high scoring encounters this season as a result.
WHO TO WATCH
Signed from Barnsley in 2022, the right-back signed a four-year deal at Blackburn Rovers upon joining with the 25-year-old now entering the prime years of his career. An international for England’s U20s, his career began with Milton Keynes Dons before making the move up north, with his pace and attacking instincts allowing him to play at either right-back or on the right wing. Missing just one Sky Bet Championship fixture so far this campaign, he has scored once and assisted twice as he’s filled in on both flanks this campaign.
24-year-old Icelandic international midfielder Sigurðsson was playing Champions League football with CSKA Moscow just a few seasons ago, scoring in a 3-0 win over Real Madrid for his side doing that run. Off field issues for his side allowed him to leave on loan several times, with the last of these seeing him arrive at Ewood Park in the summer. Made permanent just before the New Year and coming into effect on 1 January 2024 when the window was once again open, he has scored five times in 19 Sky Bet Championship outings this season, assisting once in that time.
Colchester-born Szmodics started his career with his hometown side before catching the eye of Bristol City in 2019, but it was a year later when a loan move to Peterborough was made permanent that his career began to truly flourish, with the diminutive attacking midfielder part of the Posh side that gained promotion to the Sky Bet Championship in 2021. Signing for Blackburn Rovers in 2022, his first season was one of transition, but this campaign has been anything but, with numbers of 16 goals in 25 appearances making him the division’s top scorer, already eclipsing Ben Brereton Diaz’s return from the season prior.
TOWN TEAM NEWS
Huddersfield Town Manager Darren Moore will speak to the collected media at our next press conference on Friday 19 January 2024, with supporters available to watch live on HTTV via YouTube and on our official Twitter/X channel.
Heading to Ewood Park, the Terriers will be back in their Acid Lime away kit in Lancashire.
CLICK HERE to find out more about how to get one of your own!
INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLING FANS
Blackburn Rovers have provided this link to their Away Supporter and Disability Supporter Guides ahead of Saturday's game:
Travelling supporters should please be aware that Ewood Park's kiosks do not accept cash.
Audio Match Passes for this fixture are available at just £2.50 each, giving those Terriers unable to join us on the day full live coverage of the full game!
While you may be able to book a video match pass abroad, this will not be available in the United Kingdom due to the Saturday 3pm broadcast blackout.
CLICK HERE to find out how to book.