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Aug 7, 2014

Rovers ready for Cardiff opener

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Gary Bowyer hopes to have a full Blackburn squad to choose from when they kick off the new domestic season against Cardiff at Ewood Park.

A sickness bug had threatened to derail Bowyer's plans but the likes of winger Ben Marshall and former Bluebirds striker Rudy Gestede appear to have overcome the illness, playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Oldham on Monday.

Summer signing Chris Brown has been hampered by a knee injury over the summer but is expected to declare himself available while versatile defender Alex Baptiste is set to make his debut.

Midfielder Lee Williamson sat out the friendly draw with Stoke last Sunday but returns from the one-match suspension he accrued following his red card against Bury.

Cardiff head to Ewood Park with just two available centre-backs as the promotion favourites look to start life back in the Championship with three points.

Spanish defender Juan Cala is suspended for the trip after a red card in their defeat to Sunderland back in April while Ben Turner's ankle injury, sustained during the pre-season win over Yeovil, will keep him out until the international break in September.

With Steven Caulker having left for QPR it means Matt Connolly looks set to partner Mark Hudson at the heart of defence. Hudson, linked with a move to Leeds, looked to be a big doubt for the match with a muscle injury but he tweeted on Wednesday that he is 'training and fit'.

Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is keen to bring in another centre-back, will be without Gary Medel, who looks set to clinch a move to Inter Milan, and winger Craig Noone (groin) but Tom Adeyemi, who arrived from Birmingham on Thursday, is set to be involved in the squad.

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