Rich Sharpe picks out three talking points ahead of Rovers’ return to Championship action against Millwall.


Tosin Adarabioyo is back fit and will be looming large in the mind of manager Tony Mowbray.

The Manchester City loanee has managed just 90 minutes of football since his arrival at Ewood Park, and was also short of game-time in pre-season. But having been the sole central defensive addition this summer, is highly regarded and seen as someone who can help improve on last season’s defensive record.

The partnership of Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams has blossomed during Adarabioyo’s four-game absence in which Rovers chalked up seven points, including three consecutive clean sheets.

Defensive errors proved costly in the defeat at West Brom before the international break, but Lenihan and Williams have plenty of credit in the bank for their performances, and it would be harsh on either should they have to make way for Adarabioyo at this stage.

The 22-year-old will force his way back in at some point, and down the line there may be an opportunity for all three to play together. For now, Lenihan and Williams deserve to go again.



Rovers ended their wait for a goal from open play 26 seconds in to their sixth Championship fixture when Bradley Dack netted against West Brom. Bradley Johnson’s goal just before half time at The Hawthorns means Rovers have scored five times in their six matches so far.

From their three Ewood fixtures they have an own goal and Danny Graham penalty to show for their efforts following the 0-0 draw with Cardiff last time out.

Rovers scored 32 goals in their 23 home matches last season, the 15th best return in the division. However, since those hat-trick of wins in January at home, things have dried up a little.

They have managed 11 goals in their last 11 home matches, with just four coming in the first half, but more concerning, have failed to find the net in five Ewood games since January, although they have kept the same number of clean sheets.

They have had 1-0 home defeats to Bristol City, Middlesbrough, Preston and Stoke, as well as the Cardiff stalemate, but managed 2-0 wins over Derby and Bolton, a 3-0 victory against Wigan and 2-2 draw against Swansea on the final day, as well as their two goals so far this term.

Dating back to the start of last season, only three occasions, Leeds 2-1, Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 and West Brom 2-1, have Rovers won at home when the opposition have scored.

With four home games in their next six, Rovers need to make the most of this run, but must improve on their recent goal return to do so.



Connor Mahoney will return to Rovers for a second time this weekend since leaving for Bournemouth in 2017, having done so while at Birmingham last season.

He secured a permanent move to Millwall in the summer, becoming their record signing, and has slotted in well. He has two assists to his name already, and no player in the Championship has delivered more crosses in to the box than his 23.

With the giant figure of Matt Smith waiting in the middle, Rovers will need to guard against him cutting in on his left foot.

They were undone down their left--hand side at West Brom and will need to be wary of Mahoney, the Lions’ most creative force.