Meet the opposition | Blackburn Rovers

4th February 2022
First team
Blackburn Rovers

As Swansea City prepare to take on Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium, we take a closer look at the heritage and recent form of the Lancashire club.

What's their story?

Blackburn Rovers were established in 1875 and have spent most of their existence in the top-flight of English football, winning three league titles – the most recent under Kenny Daglish in 1995 - and the FA Cup six times.

Blackburn were last in the top-flight in 2012, and have endured some tough times since.

Five years to the day after dropping out of the Premier League the club was relegated to League One in 2017, however they were in the third tier for just one season as they won the League One title in April 2018.

They have since consolidated their position in the second tier and are in the hunt for automatic promotion this term.

How's their form?

Joe Rothwell

Very strong. Rovers have surged into the top two on the back of a run of one defeat in 13 league games.

That has included a sequence of six wins in a row, with one of those being an impressive 2-0 triumph over promotion rivals Bournemouth.

They have the best home record in the Championship, but have backed that up on their travels where they have suffered just four defeats and are in the top six for points garnered away from home.

Who's the gaffer?

Tony Mowbray

Tony Mowbray. Mowbray is now in his fifth consecutive campaign as head coach at Blackburn Rovers.

A defender in his playing days, and a Middlesbrough legend, the 57-year-old made over 420 appearances for Boro before joining Celtic in 1991 and Ipswich Town in 1995.

He kicked off his coaching career at Ipswich Town as an interim manager, before relocating to Scotland where he managed Hibernian and former club Celtic. In 2006, Mowbray took over at West Bromwich Albion, leading them back to the top-flight in the 07-08 campaign.

He once again returned to a former club for a three-year stint at Middlesbrough, before being appointed manager of Coventry City in 2015. Mowbray went on to join Blackburn in 2017.

Who's the captain?

Darragh Lenihan

Darragh Lenihan. The Republic of Ireland defender joined Rovers in the summer of 2011 as an 18-year-old from Irish club Belvedere.

He spent a year in Blackburn’s academy setup before stepping up to the pro ranks, and gained valuable first-team experience during a loan spell with League One Burton during the 2014-15 season as he made 17 appearances, scoring once.

He returned to Ewood Park in April 2015, making his senior debut against Millwall and has since become a key player in Rovers’ starting XI racking up over 200 appearances for the club to date.

He was handed the captaincy in June 2021.

Who are the key men?

Ben Brereton Diaz

Striker Ben Brereton Diaz is enjoying an outstanding campaign, and has already gone through the 20-goal mark for Rovers as they battle for promotion.

The former Manchester United youth player has flourished since leaving Nottingham Forest for Ewood Park in 2019, and his confidence has visibly grown following his fairytale call-up and goalscoring exploits for Chile at last summer’s Copa America.

He has recently been away on international duty, again getting on the scoresheet, but has linked up with the Rovers squad again in time for this fixture.

Only Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored more Championship goals this term than Brereton Diaz.

Like Brereton Diaz, Joe Rothwell is another former Manchester United youngster who has gone on to produce outstanding form with Rovers.

Rothwell spent 15 years on the books at Old Trafford but never had the chance to make a first-team outing for the Red Devils.

There were short loan spells with Blackpool and Barnsley, but it was a full-time move to Oxford in 2016 that saw him start to showcase his talent at senior level.

Rovers snapped up the former England youth international in 2018 and he has since made 145 appearances and scored 11 goals.

Full-back Ryan Nyambe came through the ranks at the Rovers academy and made his first-team debut in a League Cup tie against Ipswich in 2015 at the age of just 17.

The Namibia international can play anywhere across the back four but has nailed down the right back or right wing-back slot in recent seasons.

He was a regular as Tony Mowbray led Rovers back to the Championship during the 2017-18 season, and has proved an accomplished performer in the second tier ever since.

Nyambe has racked up 192 appearances for the Lancashire club but has yet to get on the scoresheet.