Blackburn Rovers v Stoke City: Tony Mowbray and Michael O’Neill pick their teams



Michael O’Neill has made one change – and a major change at that – for tonight’s game here at Blackburn.

The change comes in his back four after bringing in 18 year-old Nathan Collins for James Chester.

Chester drops to the bench from an otherwise unchanged starting 11 from that 2-0 win over Cardiff at the weekend.

Collins, who’s come off the bench a couple of times recently to help see games out, will be starting his first game since the FA Cup defeat at Brentford on January 4

And this will be his first league start since the 3-0 home defeat to Leeds way back on August 24 – and so it’s obviously his first league start under O’Neill.

Elsewhere, Jordan Thompson retains his role as a holding midfielder in front of the back four after being deployed there for the first time on Saturday against Cardiff.

A role he carried out to the letter, pretty much, and there was even the bonus of being named the sponsors’ man-of-the-match on Saturday.

Stoke face a Blackburn side two places and five points outside the play-offs ahead of tonight’s big game.

Stoke: Butland, Smith, Martins Indi, Batth, Chester, Thompson, Allen, Clucas, Ince, Campbell, Powell.

Subs: Davies, Vokes, Chester, Diouf, Gregory, Oakley-Boothe, Cousins.

Blackburn: Walton, Nyambe, Lenihan, Adarabioyo, Bell, Downing, Johnson, Travis, Rothwell, Armstrong, Gallagher.

Subs: Leutwiler, Graham, Samuel, Brereton, Bennett, Rankin-Costello, Buckley.





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