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Blackburn remain in the playoff positions, picking up 58 points from their 37 Championship matches this season, which has left them in fifth spot in the table, but they are only one point clear of seventh-placed Luton Town, and it is set to be a fascinating race for a top-six spot.
Indeed, there are only three points between 11th-placed Millwall and sixth-placed Sheffield United, with a number of teams battling to break into the playoff spots, and Blackburn’s form in 2022 has been concerning, recording just three league victories since the turn of the year.
Tony Mowbray‘s side recorded an important 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at the end of February, but they have only picked up one point from their last three matches and will enter Tuesday’s contest off the back of a 1-0 home loss to Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.
Rovers will finish March with matches against Derby (H) and Reading (A) before travelling to Coventry City at the start of April, and it will be fascinating to see how the season finishes for the club.
Blackburn have actually won their last three Championship matches against Derby, including a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture earlier this season, while they won 2-1 at Ewood Park last term.
The Rams are currently 23rd in the division with 24 points, five points from the safety of 21st spot, meaning that they have a lot of work to do in order to avoid relegation, and it would be some achievement if Rooney could lead Derby to survival this season.
The visitors have lost four of their last five in the Championship, but they beat Barnsley 2-0 at the start of the month and are certainly capable of upsetting an out-of-form Blackburn in this contest.
Derby have only won twice on their travels in the Championship this term, though, and will be facing a Blackburn side with the third-best home form, picking up 37 points from 19 matches.
Blackburn remain without the services of Ryan Nyambe, Ben Brereton Diaz, Tayo Edun and Ian Poveda for Tuesday evening’s contest through injury.
Rovers did not suffer any fresh problems against Bristol City at the weekend, though, and Mowbray is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack for this match.
Bradley Dack was back among the substitutes against Bristol City and played the final 20 minutes, missing a penalty in the 83rd minute, and the midfielder is likely to feature off the bench once again.
As for Derby, Kamil Jozwiak is still out with an ankle problem, but the visitors are otherwise in good shape heading into this match.
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The Rams were competitive for long spells of their clash with Bournemouth on Saturday, so it would not be a surprise to see a similar starting XI here, with Ravel Morrison again operating as the number 10.
That said, there could be a change in the final third of the field, with Colin Kazim-Richards potentially coming in for Luke Plange.
Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Lenihan, Van Hecke, Wharton; Rankin-Costello, Travis, Rothwell, Pickering; Gallagher, Buckley, Khadra
Derby County possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Byrne, Davies, Cashin, Buchanan; Bielik, Bird; Ebiowei, Morrison, Lawrence; Kazim-Richards