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Championship: Rovers to miss Brereton Diaz against Boro

Blackburn Rovers are in Championship action again on Monday as they host Chris Wilder's Middlesbrough, and Ben Brereton Diaz will be a big miss for the promotion-chasing side.

The former Nottingham Forest striker had never stood out in terms of goalscoring for Blackburn, but the sale of Adam Armstrong has allowed him to become the main man at Ewood Park.

It is a chance he has well and truly grabbed with both hands, and he is second in the top-scorers charts with 20 goals in the Championship this season, with only Fulham's talismanic forward Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of him.

He has been a big part of their ascent to third in the Championship and a win against Boro will see them go into the top two of the division.

Blackburn are available to win at 8/5, with Middlesbrough priced at 7/4 and a draw 9/4.

Absent forward a 'loss'

Brereton Diaz will be unavailable for Monday's clash against Boro as he has linked up with Chile on international duty.

It was a huge surprise when the Stoke-On-Trent-born striker was called up by La Roja in May for a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Bolivia.

He did enough to warrant a call up to the Copa America during the summer and scored the winning goal against Bolivia in the tournament. He has grabbed three goals in nine appearances for Chile and international recognition has clearly given him confidence on the domestic stage.

After only scoring nine league goals in three seasons at Blackburn, he has grabbed 20 in 24 games this term.

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His absence will be really felt by Rovers, whose next top scorer Sam Gallagher has just five goals.

"Bezza's a loss because of what he brings to the team," boss Tony Mowbray acknowledged. We'll be competitive and positive on Monday."

Brereton Diaz among star South Americans in the Championship

Brereton Diaz is not the first player with South American heritage to have starred in the second tier.

In terms of goalscoring forwards, the most obvious recent example is Luciano Becchio, who was Leeds' talisman in the early part of the 2010s.

As the Whites earned promotion from League One in 2010, Jermaine Beckford departed, meaning the Argentine was the main man at Elland Road. In three consecutive seasons, he scored 19, 11, and 15 goals before he was given a Premier League chance by Norwich in January 2013.

His tireless attitude earned acclaim from Leeds fans and he left having scored 86 goals in 221 games.

Every good goalscorer needs some creativity behind them and in Emi Buendia, Norwich had a magician in their two promotion campaigns in 2019 and 2021.

The number 10 scored eight goals in Norwich's 2019 promotion season and increased that to 15 last year, with his performances earning him a big-money move to Aston Villa.

Duo key in dominant Newcastle side

One of the most dominant Championship title wins came in 2010, when Newcastle bounced straight back into the Premier League after relegation.

You could argue that Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez should not have been playing in the Championship anyway, as Newcastle badly underachieved the year before, but the Argentians were a class above the rest in their title-winning season.

Newcastle won the division with 102 points and kept a very impressive 22 clean sheets and Coloccini helped marshall the backline.

Matheus Pereira, once of West Brom, was another player who floated between the divisions with his obvious class helping the Baggies earn a spot in the Premier League.

The Brazilian left the club this summer in fairly acrimonious circumstances after having a fall out with new manager Valerien Ismael, but he was sensational in the 2019-20 season, scoring eight goals in 43 matches.

For a number of years, Argentine Julian Speroni was the man in between the sticks for Crystal Palace, playing every match as Place earned promotion back in 2013.

He earned cult hero status at Selhurst Park after initially joining to be Gabor Kiraly's back up in 2004, leaving in 2019.

Positives for Rovers

Blackburn may not have Brereton Diaz to call upon, but they are set to welcome back Ryan Nyambe and Lewis Travis after the duo missed the midweek defeat against Hull City through suspension and illness respectively.

They went 10 matches unbeaten prior to the loss against Hull last time out, winning eight in that run, but Middlesbrough are in fine form themselves and will be no pushovers.

Chris Wilder has done a superb job since taking over from Neil Warnock in November and they have won six of their last seven matches.

They are seventh in the table and a win would lift them up to sixth as they also eye promotion back up to the top flight in the second half of the season.

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