Blues will be looking to get 2021 kickstarted with a win at St. Andrew's.BCFC
Visiting Blackburn Rovers sit 14th in the Sky Bet Championship and come into this afternoon's game at St. Andrew's in mixed form.
Tony Mowbray's team have picked up 3 defeats, 1 win and a draw in their past five matches and were cruelly beaten by Huddersfield last time out - Naby Sarr scoring a last-minute winner after former Blues man Sam Gallagher had levelled in the 86th minute.
Blackburn are the league's top-scorers and have dispatched over 35 goals in their 22 games this campaign but they're prone to conceding too - 27 goals going in against them.
A six game unbeaten run between November and December marked their best run of the season but they come into this one looking for a first win in four attempts.
IN THE DUGOUT
Tony Mowbray is a familiar face to Blues boss Aitor Karanka - who replaced him when he joined Middlesbrough.
An experienced manager, Mowbray has Rovers playing good football, scoring goals but lacking some consistency when it comes to finishing off games in recent weeks.
He's been at Ewood Park for the past three seasons and led the team back to the Sky Bet Championship after their relegation to Sky Bet League One at the end of the 2016/2017 campaign.
Before taking the reigns in Lancashire, Mowbray managed at Coventry City, Middlesbrough, Celtic, West Brom and Hibernian.
ONE TO WATCH
Former Newcastle United striker Adam Armstrong struggled to find his feat after coming through the Toon academy as a junior, completing a string of loan moves before settling at Blackburn in 2018.
But the 2020/21 season has been his best on the goalscoring front and he's already bagged 16 goals in all competitions this season.
Those strikes include a hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of Wycombe Wanderers back in September.
On three other occasions, Armstrong has scored a brace in a trio of Sky Bet Championship fixtures. His last goal came on December 16th in Rovers' 2-1 win over struggling Rotherham United.
LAST TIME OUT
The two clubs last met almost a year to the day in the FA Cup, Blues knocking out Rovers thanks to a last-gasp Jeremie Bela.
The third-round tie looked destined for extra time after Adam Armstrong's penalty cancelled out Dan Crowley's opener. Ivan Sunjic was sent off on the hour for Blues, which led to the spot kick.
The victory ended a run which had seen Blues lose five of their last six games.
The club's know each other well and have met 128 times since their first meeting in 1895.
Blues just edge the head-to-head - they've won 48 games, Rovers 46, with 34 draws.
In more recent years, namely since 2015, the teams have met 10 times and Blues have lost just once, winning four and drawing on five occasions.
DID YOU KNOW?
Blackburn's badge includes the Red Rose of Lancaster, the year of the team’s founding (1875) and the Latin motto 'Arte et Labore' (correctly translated as by skill and by labour), which was adopted as the motto of the town of Blackburn in 1852 and appears on the town coat of arms.
Derek Fazackerley holds the record for the most league appearances for the club, with 596 between 1970 and 1987. 'Faz' assisted Lee Clark during his tenure at Blues and since, he's had a spell as a caretaker manager at Oxford United.