After a blistering start to the season where they took maximum points from their first three games, Rovers go into this one on the back of successive 3-0 defeats away to Reading and then Sheffield United. Hard to believe after the way it started, but it just shows how ruthless a division the Championship can be.
Jon Dahl Tomasson will be hoping his side can return to the form they showed earlier in the month and you would think this game provides the perfect opportunity to do so back on home turf. Rovers will also be concerned about holding onto their prized asset Ben Brereton-Diaz beyond the transfer window, with speculation still rife over a Premier League move for the Chilean international.
This weekend’s opponents Stoke are also in a poor patch of form, losing 1-0 at home to Sunderland last weekend. There’s a growing sense of unrest amongst Potters fans, with manager Michael O’Neil coming under pressure after seemingly no improvement from when he arrived three years ago.
Stoke undoubtedly have talent in their squad to push beyond a lower-half finish as they have done for the past four seasons. But they are seemingly stuck in a rut with attendances at the bet365 stadium evidently dwindling due to their sub-par performances this season. The defeats to Millwall, Huddersfield and Sunderland are unacceptable from Stoke’s point of view and much improvement will be needed if they are to take anything from this weekend’s fixture.