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Up until the end of 2021, everything was going swimmingly for Blackburn with six successive wins putting them on the brink of moving into top spot.
However, a goalless draw at home to Huddersfield Town was followed by a dramatic 3-2 defeat at Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup, leaving Tony Mowbray with much to ponder going forward.
Mowbray will not want to over-react at this stage but with Rovers having also been below their best during the 2-1 victory over Barnsley on December 29, he needs more from his players over the coming weeks.
Two games outside of the North-West may be exactly what they need after a month of staying local, and that is what they have scheduled with matches at Cardiff and Hull City.
Blackburn have recorded 10 points from a possible 12 on the road, while they have only conceded 11 goals from as many games away from Ewood Park in the league.
From Cardiff’s perspective, Steve Morison will be satisfied with the trajectory of his side since he was named as the replacement for Mick McCarthy.
As well as 12 points from 10 games being collected in the Championship, Cardiff are also through to the FA Cup fourth round after an extra-time triumph over Preston North End.
With that result coming on the back of a 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff appear to be making gradual improvements as they bid to move clear of the relegation zone.
Despite last week’s win in the FA Cup, Morison may revert back to a similar side which started the stalemate with West Brom earlier in the month.
Joel Bagan is likely to get the nod over new arrival Cody Drameh, while Joe Ralls should come back into the team after being rested against Preston.
Aden Flint is also expected to return to the back three, but Kieffer Moore remains absent due to coronavirus.
Mowbray could take a similar approach when naming his Blackburn side after his alterations failed to pay off in the FA Cup.
That would mean recalls for Thomas Kaminski, Scott Wharton and Reda Khadra, but Harry Pickering misses out with a hamstring injury.
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Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; McGuinness, Flint, Nelson; Ng, Vaulks, Pack, Ralls, Bagan; Harris, Collins
Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Lenihan, Van Hecke, Wharton; Nyambe, Travis, Rothwell, Edun; Khadra, Buckley, Brereton