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Preview: Rovers Vs The Latics

Last Saturday certainly didn't go according to plan. At 1-0 up and cruising, Henri Camara was guilty of missing two guilt edge chances, and in typical Premier League fashion, those misses came back to haunt the home side.

The game ended 1-1 with Wigan holding onto dear life and playing the sort of long ball game usually seen at the Reebok Stadium. The final whislte was met with a pocket of the Latics faithful booing, an action that angered and upset the Wigan boss.

Jewell said: 'I never thought we would be booed off in a Premiership game, to boo the team in the second home game of the season wasn't right in my book, even though the fans were rightly disappointed.'

'I care about the players, I care about the club, and while it was only a minority who were booing, I think it is disappointing.'

In contrast, Blackburns season has been turned around, thanks to back to back victories in the League and UEFA Cup progression, after Mark Hughes side beat Austrian side SV Salzburg 2-0 last night (Thursday).

And despite being a Blackburn Rovers fan, Latics chairman Dave Whelan wants the Wigan faithful to cheer the Latics on to victory this Sunday afternoon.

'Our hardcore supporters are really second to none,' Whelan told the Official Website, 'they travel everywhere and get behind the lads. I'm hoping for a big turn out again this Sunday. It's a local derby and we should go into the game full of confidence and optimism, that is the Wigan Athletic way.'

Whelan has yet to see Wigan beat Blackburn in the Premiership, last season the Latics were humbled at the JJB 3-0 by their Lancashire neigbhours, and were robbed of the three points in the return fixture when Lucas Neil, and i quote Paul Jewell 'Committed Grievous Bodily Harm' on goalkeeper John Filan, resulting in Shefki Kuqi equalising late on.

Jewell will hope that three points and a good performance from his summer recruits this Sunday will be aided by the return of Scottish International Lee McCulloch, who is expected to make the bench, with 'Killer' Kilbane continuining in his place.

Jewell also must decide on whether Landzaat and Valencia keep their places or are replaced by Andreas Johansson and Gary Teale respectfully. Whatever Jewell decides, one player his team aren't expected to face is former Wigan striker Jason Roberts, although Mark Hughes couldbe tempted to place the former Latics ace on the bench.

Midfielder Steven Reid and rock at the back Ryan Nelson will both be unavailable for the Rovers, as Mark Hughes aims for three straight Premiership Victories.

Ones To Watch

David Bentley showed in the UEFA Cup that he can be a danger from long range, whilst strikers Nonda and McCarthy are both dangerous for their own reasons. If he gets on the field, Jason Roberts should be martialled well by Arjan DeZeeuw

Pundits Predictions

Sky Sports have plumped for a 2-1 Rovers victory, whilst everybodys favourite Mark Lawrenson must have discovered Wigan don't win when he backs them to win or draw, goign for honours even at 1-1.

My prediction

Although they won' admit it, Backburn will be physically tired after their European exploits, and with just two days rest before an epected physical derby match, that could give Wigan the slight edge thats needed.

Blackburn 1 Latics 2 (Landzaat to score!)




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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 30 2006

Time: 3:30PM

 

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