Nail Biting Time
In the build up to the Latics game at Lancashire neighbours Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, Vital Wigan spoke to Rovers fan Ross Stringfellow and asked for his thoughts on the game and its importance to his beloved Rovers, this is what he wrote:
Blackburn Rovers V Wigan Sunday 26th April
Like Boro, Blackburn are getting pretty desperate for points now and their need certainly seems to exceed Wigan's heading into this game.
As a loyal Blackburn fan I believe I share the same jealousy towards Wigan this season, it was only 3 seasons ago at the JJB Stadium when we crushed Wigan 0-3 with a thunderbolt from Steven Reid settling the result. Since then lots of things have changed including both teams having new managers. Blackburn who were then managed by Mark Hughes now at Manchester City, are now managed by Sam Allardyce whereas Wigan then managed by Paul Jewell, now have Steve Bruce at the helm.
Since entering the Premiership Wigan have beaten Blackburn a mere two times to Blackburn`s four times overcoming Wigan in the Premiership. Wigan`s two wins over Blackburn came both times at the JJB Stadium, a 5-3 win over them last year with Marcus Bent and Roque Santa Cruz both netting a hat-trick in the game.
The Latics only other victory came this season with a 3-0 stuffing on the 13th December. This signalled the end of Paul Ince`s reign in charge of Blackburn (Hallelujah!!!).
The game on Sunday is at Ewood Park, where Blackburn have never failed to gain points off Wigan, with many different good memories. A couple that come to mind is last season win at Ewood Park that finished 3-1 with a man form either team being given there marching orders. Goals from Roque Santa Cruz (2), Roberts and Marlon King from the spot for Wigan saw rovers come from a man down before half time with the score at 1-1 to take all three points after Wilson Palicios was sent off later in the second half.
Another good memory was two seasons ago with a 2-1 win. After a pulsating game, Benni McCarthy was the match winner but it was half time super sub Jason Brown was the hero as he saved a second half penalty kick from Svaltislav Todorov when the scores were level after Emile Heskey had put Wigan ahead but was cancelled out by David Bentley`s equaliser.
Wigan could still make Europe next season, but not only do they look outsiders for seventh place you also have to wonder whether that goal is really a such a great prize for a club of their size, it could well hinder not help them next season Anyway, recent form suggests it's all rather pie in the sky. Their last two games have brought heavy defeats to Arsenal and Everton with eight goals conceded in the process.
Admittedly Blackburn are not in the same class as those top-six members, but they have been solid at Ewood Park with five points gathered from their previous three home games.
That may not sound a lot but when you consider they were all against sides in the top half - Spurs, West Ham and Everton it`s not a bad return for the my team!
Wigan have now slipped out of the top 10 and their recent woes suggest this is a game Rovers will be confident of taking three points from. I am confident they can and I look forward to taking three points from our Lancashire Rivals
Blackburn Rovers Team News
There are no fresh injury worries for Blackburn, but striking partnership Roque Santa Cruz and Jason Roberts both look to be injured for Sundays clash, although Roberts could return against Manchester City in a fortnight.
Also long term injuries still include Brett Emerton, Steven 'sick note` Reid and probably David Dunn that will injure himself cooking his tea on Saturday night!!!
Wigan Team News
Wigan have tenacious midfielder Lee Cattermole available again after a 4 match ban, Amr Zaki has responded favourably to his public dressing down by Steve Bruce and is in line for a dramatic first-team recall at Blackburn on Sunday but most likely will start on the bench.
There is a doubt over the fitness of Charles N'Zogbia. He picked up a knee injury in the win over Hull last month and has been struggling ever since. N'Zogbia has returned home to France to be treated by a specialist who he has seen in the past.
Latics Speyk Podcast 9 - The Blackburn Preview
Vital Wigan are please to announce the latest podcast, podcast 9 the Blackburn preview is available for download, listening to or storing on your ipod.
The latest episode looks forward to the Blackburn game this weekend and features an interview with Rovers fans Martin Parker and Naomi Creary as once again the Latics Speyk studio hit the road and went to Blackburn to sample life in East Lancashire.
Also on this episode we met up with Blackburn singing sensation Megan Ellison and spoke to her about Blackburn, music and sampled one of Megans tracks on the podcast.
Music this episode comes from Blur, Credence Clearwater Revival, Megan Ellison, John Mayall, Texas and Nelly
If you subscribe to itunes you can download the Latics Speyk podcasts to listen to whenever you want, its easy, just load up your itunes then click the itunes store button on the left side of the screen…then click on podcast, type Wigan Athletic into the search and low and behold there we are, Latics Speyk, why not subscribe, its free and you will get notified as soon as each new episode is broadcast.
You can listen to the current episode of the podcast now by clicking on the player here:
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