Blackburn Vs Wigan - The Ultimate Test!
Blackburn Rovers have really gone downhill this season which is a surprise, but to be honest, perhaps it shouldn't have been since they employed a manager who had no EPL experience - that was always going to be a dodgy move. Compared to the Latics, who recruited a manager who had EPL experience, yet wasn't always touted as a manager with EPL creditability since Steve Bruce struggled to keep Birmingham in the top flight. Times have changed and Steve Bruce is finding his feet whilst Blackburn have appointed Sam Allardyce - will he be the saviour that keeps them in the league?
The simple answer is quite simply yes because for me, the bottom three are decided. They are Middlesbrough, West Brom and Hull City. Newcastle shall escape the fate that beckons but only by the skin of their teeth. How they've faltered this season, even more so than Blackburn. I still struggle to see why Newcastle do so badly, particularly as their squad is not half bad. The same applies to Blackburn as well. Still, different managerial styles do not always mean success and having no EPL experience can only be a sign of disaster, aka Paul Ince.
The Latics are on a run of two defeats, in which eight goals were conceded. One might ask the question about the defence and also Chris Kirkland. Bear in mind these two games were against very good sides however and I do think that under Allardyce, Blackburn do show glimpses of improvement and were unlucky to lose to Stoke 1-0 when a 0-0 draw would at one point have seemed likely. A view shared amongst pundits as well. Blackburn had the positives to take but ultimately it was a negative result for the Rovers!
Make no mistake about it. This is the game which decides Blackburn's premier league status for next season. If they win, the survival is a cert for me looking at other teams' fixtures but I echo Gareth Southgate's comments, too. This is the silly part of the season where anything and everything will happen to shock even the most assured of people in the way the table could and perhaps should have panned out. That is the beautiful and sometimes downright irritating thing that is the Premier League.
Blackburn have a whole host of injury woes. Latics have none, thankfully, except for our South Korean friend, who is out of action until next season.
BLACKBURN: PLAYER TO WATCH: MORTEN GAMST PEDERSEN
This guy used to be one of the diamonds of the Blackburn side. Since a few seasons back, he has been non-existent. I think this would give him a good opportunity to get back on track and perhaps add a vital spark to saving Rovers' premier league status.
WIGAN: PLAYER TO WATCH: AMR ZAKI
I think this lad will score come Sunday and will put himself back on the good books of Steve Bruce. He's due a goal, too, to put a difficult time behind him.
Blackburn need to win to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three - it may or may not happen this weekend. I don't think they will get the result they so desperately need at the weekend due to their injury woes. I suspect a strong team performance from them, though. The Latics will be looking to put a fine season back on track. They won't be pushovers on Sunday.
Blackburn 0 Wigan 0
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
Nice to see Roy Keane back in the football field - his comments are rubbish but still, a controversial figure is always interesting. Good luck to him and Ipswich. I see an interesting time ahead for the Championship side next season with Keane in charge so they will be Keane to secure promotion or at least make the play offs.
Until next time, hope all Latics fans and everyone else has a great weekend!