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Blackburn Rovers Preview

22 July 2013

PNE host Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers at Deepdale on Tuesday evening, at 7.45pm.

The fixture will mark exactly 11 days before the start of competitive play for the Lilywhites and their final home game of pre-season.

Rovers are unbeaten in pre-season thus far, though have been unimpressive in one-nil victories over Portimonense SC and Crewe, and draws against Wrexham and Rochdale.

This, their penultimate warm-up fixture of 2013/14, will be a chance to rectify those lacklustre performances before they take on Roberto Martinez’s Premier League outfit Everton at Ewood Park on Saturday.

DJ Campbell has re-joined Rovers on a permanent basis this summer, following a loan spell at Ewood last season, while left back Martin Olsson has been sold to Norwich City as he makes his return to top-flight football.

Familiar face Alex Marrow has returned to Blackburn from Play-Off promotion winners Crystal Palace and defender Matt Kilgallon has also joined Gary Bowyer’s side from Sunderland.

Rovers supporters will be hoping star striker Jordan Rhodes can replicate last season’s form, after he fired 28 goals for Blackburn in his debut season at Ewood, as they attempt to improve on a disappointing 17th placed finish in the Championship.

Team News
Stuart Beavon (knee) and Iain Hume (ankle) will miss the clash with Rovers due to injury, while Joe Garner is unavailable through suspension.

Defender Ben Davies’ loan spell at York City makes him ineligible, though summer signing Kevin Davies should make his home debut for the Lilywhites

Keith Keane and Will Hayhurst could also feature after making their first appearances of pre-season on Saturday at Fleetwood Town.

The Manager
After a turbulent period for Blackburn in 2012/13, which saw four separate managers at the helm, the Club are confident they now have the right man in charge: Gary Bowyer.

The former full back's playing career saw him make a total of 60 appearances for the likes of Hereford and Rotherham combined, before injury forced his retirement in 1997.

Bowyer then tried his hand at coaching, receiving an academy role at Blackburn Rovers, before being promoted to reserve team manager in 2009.

Then, in December of last year, the Manchester-born coach was thrust into the limelight – taking over as first team caretaker manager following the dismissal of Henning Berg at Ewood Park.

He reprised his usual role when Michael Appleton was appointed soon after, but once again took the reigns when the former PNE midfielder was given his marching orders.

On a temporary basis to begin with, Bowyer was soon given the position full time in May, on a one-year rolling contract.

One To Watch
Scotland international Jordan Rhodes has made a name for himself as one of the deadliest strikers outside of the Premier League in recent seasons.

The forward started his career with Ipswich Town, as a trainee, making ten appearances from the bench for the Blues.

Loan spells at Oxford, Rochdale and Brentford saw his ruthlessness in front of goal gradually improve, with Huddersfield Town noticing his exploits and signing Rhodes on a free transfer in 2009.

His time with the Terriers saw him make his mark on League One as he scored a staggering 87 goals in just 148 appearances – that’s a goal every 1.7 games!

Following his prolific play, Blackburn Rovers pounced to secure the services of the Scot with the premise of Rhodes firing the Club back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

However, despite an impressive 28 successful strikes for the striker in his debut season at Ewood, Rovers slumped to a dismal 17th place in the Championship in 2012/13.

Ticket News
It’s just £10 for adults, £7.50 for Ambassadors and only £1 for U16s to gain entry to the big match at Deepdale on Tuesday evening.

Cash turnstiles will be in operation in the Sir Tom Finney Stand and Alan Kelly Town End prior to the game for both adult and U16s tickets – though Ambassadors must purchase their tickets from the ticket office.

There will be no cash turnstiles in the Invincibles Pavilion, with seating in front of the boxes and in the middle of the stand reserved for corporate guests.

Commentary Information
PNE Player’s live commentary feed from Deepdale on Tuesday will be provided by the familiar voice of Jonathan Breeze and former North End midfielder Graeme Atkinson.

The duo will be on air from 7.15, half an hour before kick off, to provide you with a play by play account of the game. 

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