When: Tuesday 13th September 2022, 19:45k.o. Where: Ewood Park, Blackburn, BB2 4JF Blackburn Rovers have been a staple fixture in the Championship since the 2012/13 season and long gone are the glory days of 1995’s Premier League Champions finish when they boasted the likes of Alan Shearer, Graeme Le Saux, Chris Sutton, David Batty et al in their ranks. Blackburn seem to be used to the flux of late, with several of their squad leaving (usually on free transfers) and with Ben Brereton Diaz in demand. His contract expires at the end of the 2022/23 season, so there will likely be no short of suitors. Of Blackburn’s departures, the most notable are Centre-back Darragh Lenihan who went to Middlesbrough and Joe Rothwell went to learn how to dive at Muff. Full-back Ryan Nyambe went to Lancashire rival Wigan Athletic. Darragh Lenihan They have brought in some new faces with Centre-back Dominic Hyam coming in from Coventry, Sammie Szmodics from Peterborough and Callum Brittain from Barnsley. Three loan signings in the form of Clinton Mola from VfB Stuttgart, George Hirst from Leicester and Tyler Morton from Liverpool. Of the new boys, Szmodics has chipped in with a goal from attacking midfield and seems to be used primarily as an impact sub. Furthermore, not only do Blackburn have to cope with a change of playing personnel but also there’s a change in the dugout with Jon Dahl Tomasson, who coincidentally played with Blackburn legend Shearer at Newcastle United. Blackburn started the season extremely well, being the early pace-setters but have now only won once in five games (the other four are losses). The most recent game (at time of writing this) was a 3-2 home defeat against Bristol City. Blackburn usually play a 4-2-3-1 formation with Brereton Diaz playing on the left side. Brereton Diaz looking clone Bradley Dack plays through the middle with Ryan Hedges on the right. Sam Gallagher’s recent injury has meant that George Hurst plays as the main striker. Bearded, separated at birth Dack and Brereton One to watch: Whilst the spotlight has been on Brereton Diaz of late, my player to watch is Lewis Travis who plays primarily as a defensive midfielder but can also play at right-back and right wing-back (Giaretta take note!) another with a contract expiring in 2023. Travis is an experienced campaigner (coming up to 150 senior appearances for Blackburn) and has scored two goals this season. Looking to score against Watford – Lewis Travis. Injury news: Watford – Imran Louza remains out of contention with a knee injury. Tom Cleverley, Manaj, TDB and Kalu (injured himself trying to put his socks on) remain out. Blackburn – Gallagher and Brittain are out with leg injuries. Wharton is out with a calf injury and Szmodics with a head injury. Born in Blackburn: Look it is Ray from Game of Thrones, actor Ian McShane. (To the older readers, yes, I am that old that I remember Lovejoy). Shortly before his untimely death as Ray (The Hound is out for revenge!) On Watford I for one am very surprised we managed to keep hold of both JP and Sarr, which is a positive from the window. Davis and Hause are now starting to make appearances, both will have larger roles to play in our season one suspects. Once we get Louza back into the fold, we should be at full-strength, and hopefully a promotion charge is on the cards. We have had an overhaul in the squad with a large number of departures and with key positions coming in: Vakoun Bayo, despite the comparatively large fee (not his fault) is starting to score goals and will hopefully continue to improve. The Right Wing-back situation was never resolved in the window which was very disappointing. Whilst Gaspar would probably work better in a back four, he is not really a wing-back. We clearly went for the cheap option here which I understand if finances are tight. RE has been trying to urge Gaspar to venture forward more and he did bag a slightly fortuitous assist against Middlesbrough. It will be interesting to see whether Jeremy Ngakia is given more opportunities here or we will continue to see Hassane Karama wasted on the right. Prediction: Blackburn 1-1 Watford Blackburn score within first 5 minutes after a Watford defensive calamity, we hit back, Davis the scorer.