Very few sides have managed to record four successive wins in the Championship this season, and Stoke were the latest to try and fail on Wednesday evening.
Having travelled to Ashton Gate with the chance to move into third spot, the Potters ended the night in sixth position after going down by a 1-0 scoreline.
While Stoke have still collected 10 points from a possible 15, Michael O’Neill will be unhappy with five defeats coming from their last nine second-tier fixtures.
Stoke twice hit the woodwork during the setback in the South-West, but O’Neill may feel that it is time to unleash Tyrese Campbell after six substitute appearances since his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Saturday’s game is the first of three against playoff rivals over the coming weeks, increasing the pressure on a team who have sometimes struggled in the final third.
The same cannot be said of their opponents with Blackburn adding a further four strikes to their tally in a routine victory over Peterborough United.
Ben Brereton Diaz netted a double during the win at Ewood Park, the Chile international increasing his tally for the season to 16 strikes.
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Despite their efforts in front of goal, Tony Mowbray will want to see further improvements at the other end of the pitch with just four clean sheets coming from 19 matches.
Blackburn have won just two games away from home this season, a return which does not work in their favour when Stoke have succumbed just once at the bet365 Stadium.
Nevertheless, all of the momentum is with the visitors, and they will be confident of ending Saturday afternoon with a place in the top six