The English Championship League kicks off the weekend with a showdown between Blackburn and Cardiff at Ewood Park in Blackburn. Cardiff sits on top of the Championship League table going into the game as they have 41 points from 20 games with 13 wins, two draws and five losses They have 38 goals for and 25 against. The Welsh club is just one point ahead of Crystal Palace. Blackburn, who were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, are in ninth place with seven wins, eight draws, and five losses for 29 points. They have 28 goals for and 25 against.
Blackburn manager Henning Berg should have midfielder David Dunn back in the lineup after returning to the squad for their last game, which was a 1-1 draw against Burnley last Sunday. Dunn has missed numerous games this season due to a pretty serious calf problem. In addition, Dickson Etuhu is expected back in the squad after recovering from an illness. Berg will still be without veteran Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes as he’s still on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. The good news is that fellow Portuguese player Fabio Nunes could return after sitting out with his own hamstring problem. Berg has found the going to be pretty tough in Blackburn as he has just one win in seven games since taking over the managerial duties of the club. However, if they manage to beat Cardiff they’ll be within striking range of them at nine points behind them in the standings.
Cardiff should have forward Craig Noone back in their lineup for this match. The former Plymouth and Brighton winger has played quite well since joining the club and he returns after sitting out the team’s last game due to a suspension he received in a recent match against Derby. Manager Malky Mackay had to get by without several of his top players in November and is pleased as punch that most of them are now healthy and are ready to play again in Blackburn. The manager stated that he was happy to have Andrew Taylor and Ben Turner back in the squad since they’re two of his best players. He said he was also delighted that Jordon Mutch returned to action last weekend. He added that he was missing about half a dozen players last month including Kevin McNaughton and Don Cowie and the club showed just how deep it is to be in first place following all of its injuries.
Cardiff will have to mark Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes carefully as he leads the team with 11 goals on the season. Peter Whittingham is Cardiff’s top scorer with seven markers and he also has seven assists. Blackburn has five wins, a draw and four losses at home while Cardiff has three wins, two draws and five losses away. Neither team really seems to have an advantage here when looking at the home and away records and there’s a good chance this match could end up in a draw.
Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a Blackburn win at 13/8 with a Cardiff victory at 8/5 and a draw at 12/5.