It’s a clash of two sides in the bottom three on Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship, one that pits two sides up against each other who have been in this position since the season started in August.
New Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray has enjoyed an unbeaten start in first two games as gaffer of the Lancashire club, picking up four points, including a solid performance in the relegation 6-pointer away at Burton Albion last Saturday, and a big win midweek at home against playoff chasing Derby County. A win for Rovers could see them climb three places and out of the bottom three into 19th, potentially leapfrogging Bristol City, Wolves and Burton Albion.
As for Wigan, they are without a win in three despite showing solid performances at home in the derby against Preston North End and QPR. However, last time out, they were disappointing in a 0-0 stalemate at home to Nottingham Forest. There has also been health problems which have affected Wigan gaffer Warren Joyce this week. Joyce needed minor surgery this week, which forced him to cancel a fans forum and a radio phone-in with the BBC. This also could’ve caused issues within the training ground, as it could’ve meant Joyce wouldn’t have been able to take training himself, as normal.
If Wigan can win at Ewood Park on the weekend, this would mean they would overtake Rovers into 22nd place in the Championship table and could potentially mean Latics could move out of the bottom three, provided Bristol City fail to get a point in another 6-pointer as they host Burton Albion. A draw would leave The Tics in the bottom three and could lift Blackburn out.
The sides have met 11 times at Ewood Park in total, with Wigan winning only once, the sides have drawn once and there have been nine wins for Blackburn. The most recent game at Ewood Park between the sides was in the season when Wigan were relegated to League 1. This was in September 2014 and Uwe Rosler’s men took the lead through James Perch’s goal, however, a brace from Ben Marshall and a goal from Jordan Rhodes ensured Rovers went on to win the game 3-1. The sides have also met this season, back in August at The DW Stadium. Wigan thrashed Blackburn rather comfortably in a 3-0 win. Will Grigg and Nick Powell scored for The Tics in the first half, and in the second, an own goal from Shane Duffy ensured Wigan picked up what has turned out to be a vital three points.
Coming into the game, Blackburn have a series of injury concerns with Elliott Ward, Tommy Hoban, Adam Henley and Corry Evans are all expected to miss out, on top of this, Hope Akpan is serving the last game of his four-match suspension.
As or the Tics, Michael Jacobs in line for a return and Alex Gilbey is continuing to ease himself back into first team action after his long injury lay-off. Meanwhile, Nick Powell and Craig Morgan continue to be sidelined
Warren Joyce is expected to travel to Ewood Park but it is not likely he will be on the touchline, that task could instead fall to Graham Barrow and Andy Welsh who have been put in temporary charge.
Blackburn (Expected): Steele, Willians, Mulgrew, Nyambe, Lenihan, Lowe, Feeney, Guthrie, Conway, Emnes, Gallagher
Wigan (Expected): Gilks; Connolly, Buxton, Burn, Warnock; Obertan, Power, Morsy, Tunnicliffe; Grigg, Bogle.