So yes we’ve won our first award of 2015, the award ceremony was held at the prestigious Valley Church on Mitchell Street, last night. We didn’t win any of the Religious awards for obvious reasons, but we did prevail in the ‘Gloomiest Independent Wigan Athletic Web Site’. Peter was there to pick up the award, his speech inspired sheer doom & we loved it.
But that is the end of the Doom & Gloom; we’ve been told by Steve we need a new positive Mantra in the TNS office this week. I have called out that would curtail a great deal of my Match Preview, so I’m going to pad out the Preview with a recipe for Pulled Pork in Dr Pepper later on.
So to the 26th game in the Sky Bet Championship, Wigan Athletic will be playing Blackburn Rovers at the DW Stadium, match will be played on Saturday the 17th of January, with a 3pm kick off.
Current League position for Wigan is well documented, we are positively not last in the league, we may be 23rd, but at least we’re not last, oh and we have 20 pts. Blackburn are in a strong 10th place in the league, they have 35 pts and are just 6 points away from the playoffs. Top of the table are Bournemouth on 48 pts.
Looking at recent form coming into this game, though Blackburn are 10th in the league, their form is surprisingly similar to Wigan’s over the last 6 games! Last games out saw Wigan lose 3-1 to Birmingham and Blackburn lost 1-0 to Wolves:
- Wigan P 6 W 1 D 0 L 5 (Win against Leeds)
- Blackburn P 6 W 1 D 1 L 4 (Win against Charlton & a Draw with Middlesbrough)
Previous Games between the 2, I covered earlier in the Season when this fixture was played at Ewood Park, that game in September saw Rovers win 3-1 & Wigan’s solitary goal was scored by the Perch. Overall there have been 28 games between the 2, these include 7 friendlies and Wigan has won 6, Blackburn 15 with 7 draws. Thanks to Cockney Latic for the head to head.
Referee for the Game will be Mike Jones; his assistants will be Andrew Garratt & Ronald Ganfield. The 4th official will be Mark Heywood.
Mike’s been mainly officiating in the Premier League this season, but he did cover 3 games for Wigan last season. The last being the 1st Leg of the Championship play-off with QPR, which ended 0-0, he dished out 4 yellow cards (Caldwell, McManaman, McArthur & Dunne). The last game for Blackburn was a Premier League game in February 2012, a 3-0 win for Manchester City, saw Mike dish out just 2 yellow cards (Orr & Hanley).
Team News coming into the game for Wigan, McManaman will serve the last game of his suspension, though we know he’s been seen in Hull recently. For Shaun Maloney, Wigan has just agreed a £1m fee with Leicester, so doubt we’ll see him again. Wigan also picked up a few knocks & injuries at the Birmingham game, so Malky will have to see if Ridgewell, Ramis, Cowie & McClean can make this game?
How the Bookies see the game, of all the home teams this week in the Championship, Wigan are seen as the least likely to win, just 37% believe they’ll see a Home win, 35% believe Blackburn will take all 3 points & 28% see a draw. William Hill this morning, are offering 13/2 for a 1-0 home win to Wigan.
My thoughts on the game, well I have kept as positive as possible, but I do fear this part of the Preview I could slip into ‘Darkside’ thoughts, so here’s that Pulled Pork recipe I promised you.
Spicy Pop Pulled Pork:
Believe me, I tried this last weekend, it’s really simple, easy to make & is cracking on a wrap once cooked.
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