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Blackburn logo
Championship | Gameweek 44
Apr 21, 2024 at 12.30pm UK
Ewood Park
Sheffield Wednesday logo

1 - 3
Sheff Weds

Szmodics (9')
Szmodics (61'), Carter (77'), Hyam (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Windass (6'), Johnson (58'), Pears (64' og.)
Johnson (67'), Palmer (69'), Vaulks (90+3')

Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Championship clash between Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With the fight at the bottom of the Championship table quickly approaching its conclusion, Sheffield Wednesday will travel to Ewood Park to meet Blackburn Rovers in a crucial contest on Sunday.

The visitors find themselves a point adrift of safety with three games remaining, while their hosts can guarantee their survival with a victory.

Match preview

Blackburn Rovers' Sammie Szmodics celebrates scoring their first goal with Callum Brittain on February 27, 2024© Reuters

With three games of the Championship season left to play, Blackburn Rovers return to Ewood Park on Sunday with the aim of guaranteeing their safety and a seventh consecutive term in England's second tier.

In what has certainly been a tough campaign during spells under Jon Dahl Tomasson and current boss John Eustace, the Lancashire outfit found themselves slipping worryingly close to the relegation zone, as an eight-game winless streak between mid-February and the end of March left them on just 42 points from 39 league outings.

Eustace's men have since produced an impressive upturn in form at a crucial time, though, moving well ahead of the drop zone again having earned seven points from their last four attempts, as they firstly returned to winning ways in style with a rampant 5-1 victory away at Sunderland at the beginning of the month thanks to Sammie Szmodics's brace and goals from Ryan Hedges, Tyrhys Dolan and Andrew Moran.

A creditable goalless stalemate with fourth-placed Southampton then followed, and after going on to suffer a thrashing of their own when they visited Bristol City and lost 5-0, Rovers again bounced back in style at the weekend, facing a tough trip to promotion-chasing Leeds United and handing them a first home league defeat of the season at Elland Road, as Eustace's side stood strong throughout and Szmodics netted the only goal eight minutes from time.

Now sitting in a much more favourable position thanks to their resurgence, occupying 17th spot with a five-point lead over the bottom three, Blackburn Rovers will bid to move out of sight with another important triumph at the weekend.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl reacts on March 8, 2024© Reuters

Their visitors, meanwhile, travel across to Lancashire aiming to narrow that gap, with their time running out in a bid to escape the drop zone and preserve their second-tier status.

Following a poor start to the season and a major improvement under the management of Danny Rohl, Sheffield Wednesday have remained within touching distance of safety in recent months but are yet to escape the bottom three, now trailing 21st-placed Birmingham City by a single point with three games left to play.

The Owls did strengthen their position with a crucial return to winning ways away at fellow relegation-fighters Queen Park Rangers early in April, with Djeidi Gassama and Anthony Musaba on the scoresheet, before hosting sixth-placed Norwich City and coming from 2-0 down to take a creditable point thanks to goals from Michael Ihiekwe and Michael Smith.

That set up a crucial meeting with Stoke City at Hillsborough on Saturday with the chance to escape the drop zone, and they eventually made a breakthrough in the 68th minute through Liam Palmer, only to be pegged back and forced to share the points by a Luke Cundle leveller 14 minutes from time.

With the majority of their relegation rivals having gained ground last weekend, Sheffield Wednesday find themselves in an increasingly desperate position in the bottom three despite their recent unbeaten run and will be desperate to return to winning ways on Saturday while hoping those above the drop zone slip up.

Blackburn Rovers Championship form:

Sheffield Wednesday Championship form:

Team News

Blackburn Rovers' Sammie Szmodics celebrates scoring their first goal on February 27, 2024© Reuters

Blackburn Rovers should head into Sunday's game with a similar starting XI from their victory away at Leeds United last weekend, with Harry Leonard, John Fleck, Ryan Hedges and Arnor Sigurdsson all remaining sidelined by injuries, while Andrew Moran and Yasin Ayari are set to return to contention.

They did suffer a fresh concern at Elland Road, though, with centre-back Scott Wharton forced off at half time, and if he is unable to pass a late fitness test, Kyle McFadzean will come in to join Dominic Hyam and Hayden Carter in a back three in their new-look 3-4-3 setup.

Sam Gallagher will continue to lead the line, but their star man going forward is undoubtedly Sammie Szmodics, who sits atop the Championship scoring charts with 24 goals in 41 league appearances so far this term, including their winner last Saturday.

Sheffield Wednesday have several enforced absentees of their own, with Di'Shon Bernard, Juan Delgado, Momo Diaby and key winger Ian Poveda bound to miss out again at Ewood Park.

Michael Smith and Ike Ugbo started up top with support from Josh Windass against Stoke City at the weekend, but Djeidi Gassama and Anthony Musaba will both fight to come back in from the outset on the wings.

Elsewhere, Will Vaulks should again join captain Barry Bannan in the centre of the midfield, with Liam Palmer having moved into a back three alongside Michael Ihiekwe and Akin Famewo, leaving Bambo Diaby and Dominic Iorfa to settle for places on the bench.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Pears; Carter, Hyam, McFadzean; Brittain, Rankin-Costello, Tronstad, Pickering; Dolan, Gallagher, Szmodics

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Beadle; Palmer, Ihiekwe, Famewo; Valentin, Vaulks, Bannan, Johnson; Windass, Ugbo, Gassama

SM words green background

We say: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

While Sheffield Wednesday certainly have more of a need for three points in the fight for survival and have enjoyed the more impressive run in recent months, Blackburn Rovers will have renewed confidence from their away win over Leeds United last weekend to move clear of the drop zone.

Rohl's men will fight hard for a much-needed win at Ewood Park, and while we back them to leave with a result, the hosts should have enough to share the spoils.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Blackburn Rovers' Sammie Szmodics celebrates scoring their first goal on February 27, 2024
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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
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Group C

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4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

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4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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