BLACKBURN Rovers have been hit by the loss of defender Tommy Spurr to injury for tonight’s big Championship opener at home to Cardiff City (7.45pm).

Spurr, who would have been a certain starter, has picked up a groin injury in training and will sit out the visit of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s title favourites to Ewood Park.

Marcus Olsson will play left back.

The better news for Rovers boss Bowyer is that Rudy Gestede has been declared fit to start up front alongside Jordan Rhodes after overcoming illness.

Gestede, along with winger Craig Conway, will be lining up against their former club this evening.

New striker Chris Brown has not made the squad after a knee injury prevented him from playing a minute of pre-season.

Cardiff, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, have just two fully fit and available centre backs in the shape of Matt Connolly and captain Mark Hudson.

Bluebirds boss Solskjaer hands a debut to summer signing Adam le Fondre.

Rovers: Robinson, Baptiste, Hanley, Kilgallon, Olsson, Cairney, Lowe, Evans, Conway, Gestede, Rhodes. Subs: Kean, King, Dunn, Marshall, Varney, Williamson, Taylor.

Cardiff: Marshall, Brayford, Connolly, Hudson, Fabio, Le Fondre, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Daehli, Maynard, Jones. Subs: Moore, John, Bo-Kyung, Eikrem, Adeyemi, Theophile-Catherine, Burgstaller.