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Given their drop off in form, there has been an inevitability about Blackburn being forced outside of the top six for some time, and that ultimately occurred earlier this week.
As a result of victories for Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United, Rovers now sit in eighth position, a consequence of winning just two of their last 12 matches in the Championship.
It should have been three when they squared off against Coventry City last weekend, only for the hosts to score an equaliser deep into added-on time to earn a 2-2 draw.
While that result has the potential to knock the stuffing out of a floundering promotion bid, Tony Mowbray will retain hope ahead of a favourable run of matches during the run-in.
Defender Scott Wharton has netted twice in his last three appearances but Rovers require more from Ben Brereton Diaz now that he has returned from injury, the Chile international yet to score a Championship strike since the turn of the year.
After being blown away by Forest, Critchley would have called for an immediate response against their rivals, but a goal in the final seconds of the first half gave Preston the three points.
Now sitting 12 points adrift of the top six, Blackpool are aware that mid-table respectability is their most realistic target, although that may be easier said than done with all but one of their remaining fixtures being against teams who are scrapping for promotion or to avoid relegation.
Brereton Diaz will almost certainly make his return to the Blackburn XI, taking the place of Ryan Giles in attack.
After four substitute appearances, Mowbray may decide that Saturday is the right time to hand Bradley Dack his first start since recovering from a serious knee injury.
If Darragh Lenihan is passed fit after a groin injury, Ryan Nyambe could move to right wing-back, with Joe Rankin-Costello the player to drop out.
Critchley will be forced into at least one change after goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw was forced off injured against Preston, which will result in Chris Maxwell returning between the sticks.
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Shayne Lavery and Jerry Yates are both pushing for recalls in the final third with Gary Madine potentially dropping out of the starting lineup.
Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Lenihan, Van Hecke, Wharton; Nyambe, Buckley, Rothwell, Pickering; Dack; Brereton Diaz, Gallagher
Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Connolly, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Husband; Dougall, Robson; Bowler, Anderson, Hamilton; Lavery