Match Preview: Wigan Athletic vs Blackburn Rovers

Paul Thomas

The first major local derby of the season and it is the team that two seasons ago, a header from Antolin Alcaraz sealed their fate and relegation to the Championship. Blackburn will of course be out for revenge, but is this Wigan side starting to hit it's stride?

The last time these two teams met, Wigan were on a run of fantastic form and Blackburn Rovers were going through a lot of change. Now two seasons on we meet on the same turf, yet it is not in the height of the Premier League as we all felt it might be at the start of last season.

While we struggled to have a consistent team in the Premier League, Blackburn struggled in the Championship, a serious of managers, and player changes; along with off the field antics; led to the club struggling and slowly but surely grinding to a holt in terms of developing as a football team.

Yet at the hands of Gary Bowyer, Blackburn have put together a squad which looks and feel very exciting. Jordan Rhodes a possible Wigan transfer target has been the star man has he continual find the net for Rover making everything else much easier for the team.

So far the Scotland international has managed nine goals this season and doesn't look like stopping. Strikers instinct, sheer luck or whatever else you want to call it Mr Rhodes has it in shed loads and it helps his team to win matches.

That is in stark contrast to Wigan who have yet to find that star striker are struggling because of it. The signing of Grant Holt in the summer looked to have opened the door for the team to have found a player who could score us goals. So could have proved to be the case has he bagged two goals in his first four games. Injury has seen him miss most of the season so far.

This weekend the striker could be on the cards for a return, yet with a certain young attacker in full form, he may not get a look in. Nick Powell has been to say the least a revelation at Wigan since signing. Given a couple of games to bed in with the players and he really looks to have hit his form now and could become a prolific player for the club.

Derby game and a must win game for both sides to keep the momentum going before the international break. It is going to be interesting to see how the two sides match up against each other. If Latics bring the same sort of swagger and quality they did against NK Maribor, then Rovers maybe swept away.

Yet Blackburn will not be a team we can easily roll over and no matter who plays, each of them will try to get one over on their local rivals.

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