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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V BLACKBURN ROVERS

12 August 2016

Sky Bet Championship football returns to the DW Stadium tomorrow.

  • Latics host first home game of 2016/17 against Blackburn Rovers.
  • First of two consecutive home fixtures with Birmingham City visiting on Tuesday.
  • Former Latics boss Owen Coyle's Rovers arrive at the DW Stadium.

Sky Bet Championship
Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers
Saturday 13 August 2016, kick off 3.00pm
at the DW Stadium




PREVIEW

It's the return of Sky Bet Championship football to the DW Stadium this Saturday as Gary Caldwell's Latics host former manager Owen Coyle's Blackburn Rovers.

Latics return to the DW for their first competitive fixture since lifting the Sky Bet League One trophy in May against Barnsley, looking to put consecutive defeats in the Championship and EFL Cup behind them, after 2-1 losses to Bristol City and Oldham Athletic respectively.

Rovers arrive at the DW having suffered a heavy opening day defeat in Coyle's first match in charge, dropping to a thumping 4-1 loss at home to Norwich City.

They turned their fortunes round midweek with a 3-1 victory at Mansfield Town in the EFL Cup, leaving both sides determined to kick-start their seasons at the second attempt this weekend.

TEAM NEWS

Rovers will be without Elliott Bennett (hamstring), Elliott Ward (ankle) and Corry Evans (groin) due to injury, with Latics hoping to see return of Nick Powell from a pre-season knock.

Defender Jake Buxton is suspended for three matches following his red card in the EFL Cup at Oldham Athletic, whilst Andy Kellett, Reece James and Kyle Knoyle remain sidelined longer term.

Blackburn starting XI v Norwich: Steele, Henley, Ward, Duffy, Feeney, Marshall, Akpan, Lenihan, Bennett, Graham.

Latics' starting XI v Bristol City: Bogdan, Buxton, Perkins, Power, Gilbey, Grigg, Morgan, Warnock, Burke, Wildschut, Burn.

BLACKBURN'S SUMMER SO FAR

It's been a busy summer for Coyle at his new club, bringing with him former Latics staff members Sandy Stewart, John Henry and former goalkeeper Phil Hughes, as well as six new signings, three permanent and three on loan.

Jack Byrne (Manchester City), Stephen Hendrie (West Ham United) and Sam Gallagher (Southampton) have all arrived at Ewood Park on loan, with Liam Feeney (Bolton Wanderers), Danny Graham (Sunderland) and Anthony Stokes (Celtic) making switches to Rovers.

A higher volume of players have left the club, with Tommy Spurr (Preston North End), Simon Eastwood (Oxford United), Yann Songo'o (Plymouth Argyle), Lee Williamson (Burton Albion), Grant Hanley (Newcastle United), Simeon Jackson (Walsall), Chris Taylor (Bolton), Matt Kilgallon (Bradford City), Chris Brown (Bury) and Nathan Delfouneso all departing.

LAST SEASON IN BRIEF

Led by Gary Bowyer until November 2015 and Paul Lambert thereafter until May 2016, Rovers finished 15th in the Championship on 55 points, a comfortable 15 points above the relegation zone.

The latter's record saw Blackburn win 12 (two in the FA Cup), draw eight and lose 13 (one in the FA Cup) on their way to safety, recording a four game unbeaten run at the end of the season with back-to-back wins against Rotherham United and Reading rounding off the campaign.

After keeping the club in the Championship with relative ease, Lambert parted ways with Rovers, before Coyle joined this summer.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Latics are unbeaten in their last seven home meetings with Blackburn, dating back to a 3-0 defeat in January 2007.

The last meeting between the sides finished all square 1-1 at the DW Stadium in January 2015, with Latics' last home win coming in dramatic style when Emmerson Boyce scored in the final minute to secure a 2-1 victory in October 2013.



A number of high scoring clashes have been played out on home soil, a 3-3 draw in 2011/12, a 4-3 victory in 2010/11 and a 5-3 victory in 2007, which saw both Marcus Bent and Roque Santa Cruz scoring hat-tricks.

Overall Blackburn hold the best record between the two sides with 13 victories to Latics' five, having played out four draws since 1986.

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