Rovers are set to ramp up preparations ahead of the proposed restart date of June 20 – and that could include a friendly against Championship opposition to prepare for the big kick-off.

Second tier clubs have been back in training for a week, and have 18 more days to prepare for the resumption of the 2019/20 season which has been suspended since March 13.

With nine games remaining, there is plenty to play for at both ends of the table, and a fast-start will be essential in the push for promotion, the play-off spots, and avoiding relegation.

Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill has identified Rovers as possible opponents for the Potters in a ahead of the restart, given the two sides have already met twice this season and have different ambitions heading in to the remaining games.

Geography is also a factor, according to O’Neill, who believes a bounce game prior to the season resuming will be vital preparation given the length of time since matches were last played.

Rovers won in the Potteries in November, before the two sides drew 0-0 at Ewood Park two games prior to the season being suspended.

And on the possibility of friendly fixtures, O’Neill told his club’s website: “It’s one of things we’ve discussed and seeing what the guidelines will allow us to do. We’re looking at those options.

“We’re looking at teams in the Championship who we’ve played twice, for example, and there’s no issue with us playing each other again.

“In a close vicinity as well, the likes of Blackburn come into that, Preston come into that, Derby for example. They’re all good options for us to possibly behind closed doors 11 v 11.

“You can structure that game however you want. Perhaps you’ll play three 45 minutes so you’re rotating players – but at the minute we have no guidelines on that.

“Certainly you’d want to go into your first competitive game having done that.

“There are two sides to that, not only from the competitive element and fitness element but also mentally for the players to play in an empty stadium and how they cope with that.

“It will be challenging, there’s no doubt. We've only been back a week but it looks like it’s moving a little bit quicker than we expected.”