Blackburn Rovers v Cardiff City
Venue: Ewood Park
Date: Friday, 8th August, KO 7.45pm
Match-tag: #BLACAR (Live tweets on @CardiffCityFC)
LISTEN LIVE ON CARDIFF CITY PLAYER
Cardiff City kick-off the 2014/15 Football League season on tonight with a trip to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers, including former players Craig Conway and Rudy Gestede in the Sky Bet Championship. With the game set to be broadcast live on Sky Sports, all eyes will be on the Bluebirds as they seek to make their first step towards a quick return to the Premier League.
. Blackburn have won five of their last seven league games.
. Cardiff have won four of their last six opening day games. Our league opener in 2012/13 was also a Friday night match, as Mark Hudson’s late goal earned maximum points against Huddersfield Town.
. Blackburn have not won any of their last three games on the opening day, drawing two and losing one.
. Rovers’ last defeat came way back in March; that was a 1-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth at Ewood Park.
. Cardiff won the last meeting at Ewood Park 4-1 in the Championship in December 2012 – that was their only win in the last five meetings there in all competitions.
. The Bluebirds did the double over Rovers in 2012/13 and have won the last three meetings in all competitions. Blackburn's last win was 3-2 at Ewood Park in an FA Cup third round replay in January 2005.
. Blackburn were unbeaten in their final twelve games of last season in the Championship, winning six.
KEY OPPOSITION PLAYER: Jordan Rhodes
Arguably the Football League’s most prolific striker, Scotland international Rhodes maintains a goalscoring record of better than one every other game, just as he did at previous club Huddersfield Town. A popular selection in the golden boot predictions year upon year, Rhodes rarely has an off-day, so ‘City will have to be at their best if they are to leave Lancashire with a clean sheet.
ONE TO WATCH: Rudy Gestede
The Benin international striker looks set to lead the line tomorrow night as he faces the Bluebirds for the first time since departing Cardiff City Stadium last season. He scored a very impressive thirteen goals for Rovers since making that switch, with twelve of those coming since the turn of the year. Gestede was last season’s Championship Player of the Month for April.
RECENT FORM (ALL COMPETITIONS)
Cardiff City: LWDLLL
Last league match: Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea – Sunday 11th May, Barclays Premier League
Cardiff City courageously bowed out of the Premier League by going down narrowly to José Mourinho’s Chelsea. Craig Bellamy’s deflected shot had given the Bluebirds the lead on his final appearance, but second half strikes from André Schürrle and Fernando Torres earned the win for the Blues.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker (capt), Turner, Whittingham, Campbell (James), Gunnarsson, Mutch, Dæhli (Cowie), Fábio, Bellamy (Healey), John. Subs not used: Lewis, Eikrem, McNaughton, Berget.
Blackburn Rovers: WDDWWW
Last league match: Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Wigan Athletic – Saturday 3rd May, Sky Bet Championship
A final-day thriller at Ewood Park saw the home side come out on top against the Latics. Tom Cairney open the scoring for the hosts, but Ivan Ramis drew the visitors level almost immediately. Moments later Rudy Gestede powered Rovers back in front - and then doubled his tally soon after, only for Wigan’s James McClean making it 3-2 early in the second half. Jordan Rhodes’ 25th goal of the season replenished Rovers’ two-goal lead, before on-loan Bluebird Nicky Maynard completed the scoring with a consolation goal for the Latics.
Blackburn Rovers: Robinson; Keane, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Olsson; King (Feeney), Evans (Lowe), Cairney, Conway; Gestede, Rhodes. Subs not used: Eastwood, Dunn, Varney, Williamson, Taylor.
LAST COMPETITIVE MEETING
2012/13: Saturday 1st April 2013, Championship – Cardiff City 3-0 Blackburn Rovers
Fraizer Campbell, Joe Mason and Peter Whittingham - via a penalty won Mason - got the goals as the Bluebirds got another important three points on their march to the Championship title.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Connolly, Taylor, Turner, Campbell (Mason), Kim, Gunnarsson, Mutch (Whittingham), Conway, Barnett, Bellamy (Gestede). Subs not used: Lewis, Lappin, Noone, Cowie.
Blackburn Rovers: Kean (Sandomierski), Murphy (Rhodes), Kane, Best, Pedersen, Dann, Morris, Bentley (Dunn), Jones, Kazim-Richards, Hanley. Subs not used: Givet, Rekik, Stewart, Goodwillie.
REFEREE: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire)
A regular official in the Football League in 2013/14, Andy Madley took charge of 38 games across the divisions, showing a total of 110 yellow cards and four reds. His solitary Blackburn game last season was Rovers’ 1-0 home loss against Nottingham Forest. Madely’s last and only encounter with Cardiff City o date was in our 2-1 FA Cup exit at the hands of Macclesfield.
PLEASE NOTE: Our colleagues at Blackburn Rovers have advised us of traffic delays due to roadworks around the stadium, which are worth checking out. For those interested, their designated away pubs are The Golden Cup and The Anchor, which are both situated in the Lower Darwen area. Safe trip to all travelling Bluebirds on Friday. Enjoy the match!
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