Rovers are set to welcome back Ben Brereton, Lewis Travis, manager Tony Mowbray but most importantly, supporters, for tonight’s pre-season friendly with Leeds United.

It will be the first time Ewood Park has opened its gates to supporters since February 2020, with home and away fans having snapped up tickets for tonight’s friendly (7.30pm).

Mowbray, who missed the weekend game at Bradford City as he self-isolated at home with his family, is expected to be back on the touchline for Rovers’ penultimate friendly, with assistant Mark Venus having led the team in his absence.

Midfielder Travis sat the game out with a knock but has trained in the lead up to the game, as has Darragh Lenihan, who was replaced at half-time against the Bantams after sustaining a facial injury.

Further good news comes in that Tyrhys Dolan is also in contention to feature for the first time in the pre-season friendlies, with Sam Gallagher not too far behind him in the fitness race.

Brereton should get his first run-out of pre-season and will be due a warm reception from the Rovers fans inside Ewood Park after his exploits on the international stage with Chile.

That will bring strength to the squad that saw nine players yet to make a first-team appearance included, with eight of them included in a team of untried youngsters for the final 15 minutes.

That came as an already understrength Rovers squad were without 11 players who would otherwise have featured.

Rovers have managed just one goal in their opening three friendlies, that being Connor McBride’s winner at AFC Fylde, with blanks in defeats at Everton and Bradford City.

Their next chance to put that right comes against Premier League opponents Leeds, before rounding off the close season matches with Saturday’s trip to League One side Bolton Wanderers, with the Championship opener against Swansea City coming seven days later.

Rovers have stepped up the minutes for their starting line-up across all three games, with the unavailability issues at the weekend meaning that there was only one change from the side that started against Everton in a behind closed doors game.

The two players replaced at half time against the Toffees, Daniel Ayala and Adam Armstrong, both came through 75 minutes and an hour respectively at the weekend, with Lenihan the only player not to make it beyond half-time after a bang to the face.

Ten days out from the opening fixtures, Rovers will look to get more minutes into players tonight, with the prospect of some playing 90 minutes in what is Rovers’ marquee friendly of pre-season. It will be the first time they have hosted Premier League opposition in pre-season since the visits of Everton and Liverpool in the summer of 2018.

As for Leeds, victory a little over 12 months ago at Ewood Park helped move them one step closer to promotion, and they haven’t looked back since, an excellent end to last season seeing them finish in the top half of the Premier League.

They will be backed by an army of supporters this evening and with a new signing in their ranks, with left back Junior Firpo set to make his first outing since signing from Barcelona in a deal worth around £13million.

The Whites were in action last night at non-league side Guiseley where a young side was fielded, with the majority of first-team players set to be involved at Ewood in their first senior fixture of pre-season.

England star Kalvin Phillips isn’t ready yet, but the rest of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad are set to feature, with Liam Cooper (Scotland), Diego Llorente (Spain) and Tyler Roberts (Wales) all back in training after their Euro 2020 commitments.