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Blackburn v Wigan Preview: Rovers plan to get back on track

Monday's live TV Championship offering is an all north-west affair and both Blackburn and Wigan will be desperate for points at Ewood Park for different reasons.

For Rovers, their priority is to get back among the Championship play-off pack as Jon Dahl Tomasson's side have lost their way a bit over the last couple of months.

Meanwhile, Wigan will be under the charge of one of their 2013 FA Cup heroes Shaun Maloney for the first time, after he replaced Kolo Toure, who could not muster a victory in his nine games at the Latics helm.

WhatBlackburn Rovers v Wigan Athletic
WhereEwood Park, Blackburn
When20:00 Monday 6th February
How to watchSky Sports Football & Main Event
OddsBlackburn 19/20, Draw 23/10, Wigan 3/1

Rovers need to find top gear again

Blackburn started the weekend just outside the Championship top six after securing their first draw of the campaign at Bristol City in their last league outing and 14 wins and 13 defeats from their other games illustrates the issues at Ewood Park.

A four-match winning streak was ended by a 1-0 defeat at Coventry at the beginning of November and they were subsequently thumped in Lancashire derbies against leaders Burnley and mid-table Preston.

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The bad news for Wigan is that it is Rovers’ home form that has kept them in touch with the pack - they have won seven of nine matches on their own patch and they have kept five clean sheets in that run.

But it is at the other end where most of the problems are because, going into this weekend, Preston were the only team in the top half to have scored fewer than Rovers tally of 31 goals.

Of even greater concern to Tomasson is that their expected-goals figure (xG) is just 23.9, which is the worst in the division.

Striker Ben Brereton Diaz, who will be leaving for Villarreal in the summer, is their top goalscorer with nine in the league, but he has notched just once in his last 11 appearances, so Rovers are hardly prolific and a price of 4/6 that there will be under 2.5 goals looks attractive.

New start for the Latics under Maloney

It was only late November that Wigan were hailing a new era under Toure, but nine games without a win saw the former Arsenal defender’s departure and now Maloney has taken the helm of the Championship’s bottom side.

The Latics have won just once since they beat Rovers 1-0 at the DW on 11th October and it is remarkable that they took 13 points from their opening five away matches of the campaign.

But while they have taken just three points from their last eight league games, Wigan have at least managed to score in seven of them.

They have allowed 49 goals in 28 games but there are eight teams, including Rovers, who have a worse expected-goals against (xGA) figure.

Wigan have drawn three of their last five away games and three of their five road defeats have been by a single-goal margin, so they could be an attractive proposition on the double chance market at 4/5.

The bet will be a winner if the Latics win or earn a draw from their Ewood Park trip.

Card kings could be going in the book again

There is a chance there could be a few bookings in this local tussle and two players stand out in the card markets, one from each side.

Wigan may not see much of the ball and Curtis Tilt could be one Latics defender who falls foul of the referee.

Tilt has been booked eight times in the league this year and five of those cautions have come in his last nine Wigan matches, so there could be plenty of takers for the 21/10 on offer that he receives another card on Monday night.

Daniel Ayala is likely to return after he saw red in Blackburn’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City and the 11/4 about him receiving a card, which would be his eighth of the campaign, could also be of interest.

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