The fixtures for the 2017/18 EFL League One were released this morning, and the opening day is now just 44 days away. Following their relegation from the Championship, Blackburn Rovers will be looking to bounce back at the first time of asking under Tony Mowbray. Here we take a look at some of the key fixtures for Blackburn in what could be a battle for promotion.[interaction id=”594a3616f03c53313d6ed809″]
Southend United v Blackburn Rovers (05/08/2017)
Blackburn’s first game of the season is Southend United away, in what will be a tough game for Mowbray’s men. Under manager Phil Brown, Southend missed out on a play-off place last season by just one point and will no doubt be in the mix once again. This will be the first time Blackburn have played at Southend since 1991, with this season being the first time Blackburn have been a third division side for 37 years.
The game will be key as it will be the first time that Rovers fans get to see Mowbray’s new-look team play for the first time in a competitive match. Badly in need of reinforcements, especially in midfield, Blackburn have completed the signings of former Cardiff City midfielder Paul Whittingham and former Rotherham United midfielder Richie Smallwood, who played under Mowbray at Middlesbrough.
Blackburn’s last win in their opening game came in 2010.
Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers (28/10/2017)
Another key away game for Blackburn comes in late October, when Rovers face local rivals Wigan Athletic. These games are usually always feisty encounters, and could be even more so this season if both teams have something to play for towards the top of the league. Wigan have recently appointed former Portsmouth boss Paul Cook as their new manager and will be looking, like Rovers, to bounce straight back up to the Championship this season.
With Blackburn set to take a big following, fans will be hoping that the players put on a better show than in the same fixture last season. Wigan were 3-0 winners in what was a very comfortable victory for the Latics, with Owen Coyle’s Blackburn side offering very little at all. However, there is a renewed sense of hope under Tony Mowbray, who recently signed a new deal to keep him at the club for two years, with the option of a further year.