Appleton will be the fifth man to lead Rovers in the npower Championship this season, following predecessors Steve Kean and Henning Berg and caretaker managers Eric Black and Gary Bowyer.
Formica was substituted 10 minutes from time in last week's 1-1 draw at Wolves with a knock to his knee and centre-back Hanley followed the winger off due to a migraine but both are fit to play.
Former Manchester United youngster Josh King remains a doubt with a hamstring injury but Portugal Under-21 winger Fabio Nunes may return from a similar complaint.
Chelsea loanee Todd Kane is poised for his second start at right-back in the absense of Adam Henley (hamstring).
Markus Olsson (hamstring) is sidelined alongside goalkeeper Paul Robinson (back), midfielder duo Dickson Etuhu (knee) and David Dunn (calf) and long-term victim Leon Best (knee).