Latics looking to pick up first away win of the campaign in front of big following.
- Tickets still left for trip to Ewood Park, with lots of tickets already sold.
- Latics looking to build on back-to-back home wins before the international break.
- New signings William Kvist, Andy Delort and Adam Forshaw all could be included.
After almost a fortnight away from Sky Bet Championship action, Uwe Rosler’s Latics will be looking to build on their impressive wins over Blackpool and Birmingham City when they travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
The trip up the M6 and across the M65 has rarely been fruitful for Latics, with a record of eight defeats in ten games hardly encouraging.
However, last season Rosler shuffled his pack in an end of season 4-3 thriller and two years earlier Antolin Alcaraz scored in the 87th minute to preserve Latics’ Premier League status and condemn Rovers to relegation.
Tickets are available to buy on the day at Ewood Park, with the away ticket office open from 1.00pm. A bumper away following is expected to make the 22 mile trip.
Latics recorded the 600th win in the club’s history as Emmerson Boyce’s injury-time winner earned the three points in a close affair with Blackburn Rovers at the DW Stadium.
Tommy Spurr had given the visitors an eighth minute lead before Rovers captain Grant Hanley was dismissed for elbowing Nick Powell.
Spurr diverted into his own goal in the second-half to level the score and, after persistent pressure, Boyce headed home Ben Watson’s free-kick to secure the points.
Latics travelled to Ewood Park on the final day of the 2013-14 Sky Bet Championship campaign with their place in the Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Championship already secured.
Rovers had to beat Latics, hope for both Reading and Brighton to lose and turn around a seven-goal swing on the Royals.
The hosts wouldn’t go on to qualify despite a 4-3 win as Reading drew and the Seagulls won at Nottingham Forest.
But the tie certainly provided excitement with Tom Cairney giving Rovers an early lead before Ivan Ramis levelled within two minutes.
Rudy Gestede scored twice before half-time to give the hosts hope of a miracle top six finish, though James McClean got one back for Latics on the hour.
Jordan Rhodes doubled the advantage late on before Nicky Maynard signed off his loan spell with Latics with a fine 20-yard drive.
THIS TIME AROUND
Confidence is crucial in football and Latics have it in abundance after superb display prior to the international break saw Rosler’s side defeat Birmingham City 4-0 at the DW Stadium.
Callum McManaman is finding real form and consistency whilst Emyr Huws, Don Cowie, Andrew Taylor and Oriol Riera have all settled in to life with Latics in a progressive manner.
Add to that the additions of William Kvist, Andy Delort and Adam Forshaw on Transfer Deadline Day, and the mood around the DW Stadium could not be more vibrant ahead of the trip to Blackburn.
Blackburn, who finished the 2013-14 season with a 12-game unbeaten run, have been marred by inconsistency in the early stages of this season and they lie two places below Latics in 14th, with a five-goal worse goal difference separating the two sides.
Rovers have suffered heavy defeats at Wolves and Norwich on their last two away trips, though they’ve been better at home with a win over Bournemouth following an opening day home draw with Cardiff City.
The Ewood Park outfit were also busy on Transfer Deadline Day with former Latic Ryan Tunnicliffe and Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele joining on loan and Shane Duffy also signed permanently from Everton.
MAN TO WATCH – JORDAN RHODES
Perhaps it’s a mistake to solely pick out Jordan Rhodes, though when people talk about Blackburn Rovers, his name tends to pop up.
They’re also blessed with top midfielders like Tom Cairney and Ben Marshall but Rhodes’ goals will be crucial if Rovers are to have a successful campaign.
The Scotland international opened his account for the season in the 3-2 win over Bournemouth and followed that up with Rovers’ goal in the 3-1 defeat at Wolves a week later.
He scored 25 goals in 48 games in all competitions in 2013-14 after notching 29 goals in his debut campaign for the club.
Arguably Rovers’ best business in the transfer window was keeping hold of the former Huddersfield Town man and Latics will be wary of his threat on Saturday.