Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday November 5 2010
Following last weeks dismal display at Fulham that saw the Latics surrender their unbeaten away run with a whimper, Roberto Martinez and his team have an immediate chance to get back on the tracks with a trip to Ewood Park for this Lancashire derby.
Blackburn away wont be an easy game but it is the type of game that the Latics really need to be getting something out of if they are to build on what they have been achieving these past few weeks, the injured James McCarthy was missed something terrible at Fulham, whoever comes into the midfield against Blackburn really does need to step up to the mettle against what will undoubtedly be a very physical Rovers side.
There is a strong possibility that Franco Di Santo will lead the Latics line and who`d bet against the young striker getting his first Wigan goal against the club he played for last season, these things have a habit of happening, so lets hope that Alardyce leaves Jason Roberts on the bench.
By all accounts Blackburn were unlucky to lose against Chelsea last weekend, here`s hoping that their run of bad luck continues this weekend, with just one point keeping us above the Rovers in the table a minimum of a draw is required.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'The mood in the camp is very good and we know that we are facing a big challenge against Blackburn
'They are playing with great confidence and are really, really strong and know how to use dead ball situations really well and we need to be ready for that'
'We will have to make sure we can impose ourselves and play our football and be the team that we can be.
'We will have to match Blackburn Rovers in their strength and physicality, it is a very intimidating environment at Ewood Park'
'When you look at the points that both teams have at the moment you can see that it is a very important game and we need to make sure that we are ready for it'
Blackburn boss Sam Alardyce:
'Our home record is the reason - in terms of results rather than performance - that we are where we are.
'It's the most disappointing [home] run since I have been here. Five games, only one win, two draws and two defeats - we only had three defeats at home in the entire last season.
'On the level of performance we are in a false position in the table but one we have to accept is our own fault.
'Home form and a clean-sheet mentality is deserting us. If we put that right starting on Saturday then we will start moving up the league again.'
N'Zonzi and Andrews out, El Hadji Diouf and Martin Olsson to face fitness tests.
Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Jones, Emerton, Pedersen, Mame Diouf, El Hadji Diou, Benjani
Big things are being said about the 18 year old, lets see if he is as good as they say
Emmerson Boyce and James McCarthy are the only players missing due to injury.
Al-Habsi, Gohouri, Gary Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Thomas, Diame, Rodallega, Cleverley, N'Zogbia, Di Santo
Latics most creative player
Latics and Rovers have met on 14 previous occasions.
Latics 2 wins, Rovers 10, draws 2
Last Six Meetings
27/01/10 - Premier League - Rovers 2 Latics 1
26/12/09 - Premier League - Latics 1 Rovers 1
26/04/09 - Premier League - Rovers 2 Latics 0
13/12/08 - Premier League - Latics 3 Rovers 0
22/03/08 - Premier League - Rovers 3 Latics 1
15/12/07 - Premier League - Latics 5 Rovers 3
Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
Why not take a look at our excellent Meet the Ref article
Games - 8, Yellows - 27, Reds - 2
Heart says Latics win 1-0
Head says 1-1
Latics v Liverpool
Wednesday 10/11/10 7:45pm
Latics v West Brom
Saturday 13/11/10 3pm
Date:Friday November 5 2010
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