Best ruled out of match against parent club

Leon Best is ruled out of Saturday’s home clash with his parent club, Blackburn Rovers, as part of the loan agreement that brought him to Hillsborough.

Stuart Gray could start with Atdhe Nuhiu up front in place of Best, Nuhiu having come off the bench in the last two games, or give Arsenal loanee Benik Afobe another opportunity after being named as a substitute in recent matches.

Fellow loanee Sam Hutchinson is back in training after illness and, if fit, will give Gray more options either in midfield or defence.

Lewis Buxton and Miguel Llera can be expected to continue their central defensive partnership in the continued absence of Glenn Loovens and Oguchi Onyewu, against a Blackburn side who have given themselves an outside chance of a play-off place after a run of seven games without defeat.

Along with all Premier League, Football League and Conference games scheduled to start at 3pm on Saturday, the match will kick off at 3.07pm, as a mark of respect and remembrance for the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy 25 years ago this month.

The FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989 was halted at 3.06pm, six minutes after kick-off, and there will be a minute’s silence at this time on Saturday before the start of the matches.

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