GOALKEEPER Simon Eastwood has got the nod for Blackburn Rovers in today’s top-six Championship showdown with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Eastwood, who will be making his first appearance since January 18, replaces the ineligible Jason Steele.

The rules of Steele’s season-long loan from Boro state that he cannot face his parent club.

Eastwood’s back-up on the bench will be Jake Kean with the out-of-favour Paul Robinson missing out completely.

Rovers’ other change, also enforced, sees Ryan Tunnicliffe take the place of the suspended Tom Cairney, who was sent off for two bookings in last Saturday’s thrilling 2-1 home win over Leeds United.

The win hauled Gary Bowyer’s side, who are unbeaten in eight games, up to sixth in the table and within two points of third-placed Boro.

But Aitor Karanka’s men will start today’s match in fourth after Ipswich Town won 1-0 at Charlton Athletic in the lunchtime kick-off to move into the top two.

Boro boss Karanka has made five changes with Kenneth Omeruo, Ryan Fredericks, Dean Whitehead, Patrick Bamford and Jelle Vossen coming in for Emilio Nsue, Ben Gibson, Adam Clayton, Adam Reach and Kike.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Omeruo, Ayala, Fredericks, Friend, Adomah, Leadbitter, Whitehead, Bamford, Tomlin, Vossen. Subs: Mejias, Gibson, Kike, Reach, Nsue, Veljkovic, Wildschut.

Rovers: Eastwood, Baptiste, Hanley, Duffy, Olsson, Tunnicliffe, Evans, Williamson, Marshall, Gestede, Rhodes. Subs: Kean, Henley, Dunn, Brown, Varney, Taylor, Conway.