Final league game of the season, not a lot riding on it, from our point of view anyway, we’ve already qualified for the playoffs and I expect that there will be players rested, Blackburn have the slimmest of hopes of grabbing sixth spot, they need to beat us, hope both Reading and Brighton lose and at the same time over turn a seven goal deficit on their rivals in the GD column.
Without doubt all eyes will be on next week, our focus has to be, but at the same time we need to remain professional and still put in a performance.
Blackburn will be hoping that we don’t turn up and they can get a few goals past us, it will be a big ask but I am sure they will give it a go.
This fixture has a real end of season feel about it before a ball as been kicked, thankfully we have something to look forward to with the playoffs, an exciting climax to our first campaign back in the Championship, I must admit, I have loved this season.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Uwe Rösler:
‘Blackburn are coming off the back of a very good run, they’ve played with no pressure in the last few months and that’s been a very good thing for them to have’
‘They’re full of confidence and they’ll try to finish a season in which they probably had higher notes on a positive.
‘Mentally for us it’s important that we build momentum after beating Birmingham on Tuesday because after the Arsenal game we’ve had only the Reading game where we hit near our best and nearly secured our play-off spot then but since then things slipped away from us a little bit for different reasons.’
Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer:
‘All we can do is concentrate on our game and try and beat a very good team in Wigan Athletic’
‘Uwe Rosler has done a fantastic job there to turn it around from where they’ve come. To still have a chance of promotion is a phenomenal effort from him.
‘His mentality will not allow them to ease up one little bit, he’ll be on that touchline and he’ll be organising them and making sure that they’re as competitive as they can be.
‘So we are aware of the challenge that lies ahead but as ever we’ll just concentrate on us and see what we can perform at.’
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Blackburn have Adam Henley and Tommy Spurr definitely out, but Ben Marshall, David Dunn, Dickson Etuhu and Jason Lowe are all in contention for a place in the squad.
Blackburn from – Robinson; Keane, Hanley, Kilgallon, Olsson; King, Cairney, Evans, Conway; Gestede, Rhodes, Eastwood, Kane, Varney, Williamson, Taylor, Feeney, Rittenberg, Marshall, Dunn, Etuhu, Lowe
Player to watch: Jordan Rhodes
Blackburn’s leading goal scorer, always one to watch
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Ben Watson and Chris McCann are long term casualties, Ivan Ramis has recovered from a hamstring strain but this game is too early for him.
Nick Powell should be back in the squad as Rösler will make changes to ‘rest’ players ahead of the playoffs.
Latics possible – Al Habsi, Holgersson, Kiernan, Garcia, Perch, McEachran, Collison, Espinoza, Powell, McClean, Maynard
Player to watch: Roger Espinoza
Difficult to pick as not sure who’ll be playing, but fancy Roger to get a run out
Latics and Blackburn have met 19 times
Latics 5 wins, Rovers 11, draws 3
Last Six Meetings
06 Oct 2013 – Championship – Latics 2 Blackburn Rovers 1
07 May 2012 – Premier League – Blackburn Rovers 0 Latics 1
09 Nov 2011 – Premier League – Latics 3 Blackburn Rovers 3
05 Feb 2011 – Premier League – Latics 4 Blackburn Rovers 3
06 Nov 2010 – Premier League – Blackburn Rovers 2 Latics 1
27 Jan 2010 – Premier League – Blackburn Rovers 2 Latics 1
Last Time Out
Latics 2 Blackburn Rovers 1
Goal scorers – Latics – Spurr (og) 69, Boyce 90 mins
Blackburn – Spurr 8 mins
Referee – Stuart Attwell
Attendance – 16,996
Latics – Carson, Shotton (Boyce 62), Rogne (Holt 57), Barnett, Perch, Watson, McArthur (McCann 83), Gomez, McClean, Beausejour, Powell
Unused subs – Nicholls, Espinoza, Garcia, Dicko
Blackburn – Kean, Kane, Hanley, Kilgallon, Spurr, Cairney (Taylor 83), Lowe, Evans (Marshall 90), King, Best (Williamson 41), Rhodes
Unused subs – Morris, Judge, Marrow, Eastwood
Roger East (Wiltshire)
Why not take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article
Roger East Card Watch 2013/14
Games – 27, yellows – 89, reds – 2
Head says 3-0 win for Blackburn because our minds, and possibly players, will be elsewhere
Heart says 1-1, as always going with the heart
Championship Playoff Semi Final 1st Leg
Latics v QPR or Derby County
Thurs or Friday