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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V BLACKBURN ROVERS

15 January 2015

Latics host Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers as both sides look for first Sky Bet Championship win of 2015.

  • Blackburn winless in six visits to Wigan.
  • Rovers won reverse fixture in September.
  • Adult tickets from £20, juniors from just £5.
It’s a Lancashire derby at the DW Stadium on Saturday as Blackburn Rovers head down the M6 to face Latics with both sides looking to register their first three points of 2015 in the Sky Bet Championship.

Rovers are winless on six visits to Wigan with Emmerson Boyce’s late winner in last season’s clash giving Latics their fourth home success over Blackburn.

Gary Bowyer’s side travel to the DW with just one win in seven league matches and tickets are still available for the clash priced from £20 for adults and just £5 for juniors.

LAST TIME AT THE DW



Wigan Athletic 2 – 1 Blackburn Rovers
Sunday 6th October 2013
DW Stadium
Sky Bet Championship

On the back of Latics first-ever home European fixture, and win, against NK Maribor, Emmerson Boyce’s injury-time winner completed a late comeback against ten man Blackburn Rovers.

Tommy Spurr put the visitors ahead at the DW Stadium before Grant Hanley was dismissed for Gary Bowyer’s side.

Spurr diverted into his own goal 20 minutes from time before Boyce notched the winner in the 91st minute to send Latics into the top half of the Sky Bet Championship.

Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Spurr opened the scoring after just eight minutes as Scott Carson spilt Tom Cairney’s long free-kick into his path and he converted.

Latics got their impetus back when Hanley shoved Nick Powell in the face off the ball and referee Stuart Attwell showed the red card to the Scotland international.

Jordi Gomez, Powell and James McArthur all had efforts on goal before Spurr put Gomez’s corner into his own goal to level the score midway through the second-half.

The spoils were looking as if they were going to be shared before Boyce superbly glanced Ben Watson’s free-kick into Jake Kean’s top right-hand corner.

BLACKBURN ROVERS IN 2014/15 SO FAR

Blackburn head to the DW Stadium today look to reinvigorate a season that started with so much promise after a stoppage time home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the start of December has instigated a downturn in form over winter.

A quiet summer on the transfer front saw Rovers, who finished the 2013-14 season on a 12-game unbeaten run, add strikers Luke Varney and Chris Brown on free transfers with defender Shane Duffy also joining from Everton.

David Goodwillie, Dickson Etuhu, Alan Rudge and Ruben Rochina were notable names to leave Ewood Park whilst the temporary addition of goalkeeper Jason Steele was made permanent at the start of 2015.

Steele was one of three loan signings made by Gary Bowyer with Alex Baptiste joining from Bolton Wanderers and former Latic Ryan Tunnicliffe signing on a season-long loan from Fulham, though he has since been recalled after impressing for the Lancashire club.

Rovers opened the campaign with a draw against Cardiff City and an early Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Scunthorpe United, though they bounced back with a win at Blackpool and a home success over Bournemouth.

A 3-1 win over Latics in September was followed by a good win at Craven Cottage and, by the time of three straight wins over Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest and Reading at the end of October and start of November, Rovers were well in play-off contention.

A nine-game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of what Rovers will probably pinpoint as the turning point in their season to date as Claude Dielna’s 92nd minute winner completed a turnaround for Sheffield Wednesday to take all three points from Ewood Park.

Since then, Rovers have won two of their seven games in all competitions both against Charlton Athletic: 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship and 2-1 in the FA Cup.

Defeats at Brentford and Bolton Wanderers and a home defeat to Wolves last time out, has allowed the gap between tenth place Rovers and the Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Championship to rise to six points.

It’s defensively where Bowyer will be looking to improve, despite his side failing to score in their last two matches, as Rovers have shipped 34 league goals, the same as Latics and one less than Brentford who are the leakiest defence in the top-half.

In the likes of Jordan Rhodes, Ben Marshall and Tom Cairney, Rovers still possess the players capable of a push for the top six and, despite their Financial Fair Play transfer embargo, they may look to the loan market to replace Tunnicliffe in the middle of the park.

MAN TO WATCH – BEN MARSHALL


A thoroughly efficient attacking force with Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes up front, Rovers also have goals, creativity and flair in midfield in the form of Ben Marshall.

A former Manchester United and Crewe Alexandra youth, Marshall has been schooled well and his career has taken off since he enjoyed loan spells with Carlisle United and Sheffield Wednesday during his time at Stoke City.

After scoring five goals in 22 league games during the 2011-12 season for the Owls, Leicester City paid around £1million for his services and he went on to score nine goals in 61 appearances for the Foxes in 18 months at the King Power Stadium.

However, at the start of the 2013-14 campaign, Marshall signed a four-year deal at Ewood Park and, though injuries curtailed his progress in his debut campaign in Lancashire, he has enjoyed a good run in the team this time around, scoring five goals in 26 appearances including two against Latics.



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