Despite making their worst Premier League start in 15 years, there has been a renewed fight about Blackburn’s game of late and boss Steve Kean will be hoping his side have lost none of the grit which saw pundits laud their efforts in defeat to Chelsea last time out.
In Wigan they face the only side with fewer points than them in the division.
Roberto Martinez’s basement side must improve their goals-per-shot ratio if they’re to leapfrog Rovers from the foot of the table, but they might just fancy their chances.
Although the Latics have the worst conversion rate in the league, with an average of just one goal from every 16 attempts, Rovers have conceded the most goals (24) in the opening 11 games, suggesting the home side have a realistic chance of boosting that unwanted ratio.
However, avoid backing a Wigan player to break the deadlock, as Martinez’s men tend to concede first at home with the average time around 23 minutes.
Wigan are the only side yet to score a headed goal in the league this term, such is the lack of creativity from their flanks.
With four of their seven goals having come from outside the box, their most likely goal source is a midfield player, and I’m backing Ben Watson at 13/4 to make his mark.
The 26-year-old is his club’s joint-top scorer with three goals this term, plus his set-piece and penalty-taking duties add weight to his cause for getting on the scoresheet.
For the same price, you can back Republic of Ireland international James McCarthy, who scored twice in this fixture last season, although his involvement from dead ball situations will be limited while Watson is on the field.
Blackburn have scored three goals in four of their six Premier League away games at the DW Stadium and, for me, Rovers are the more likely to break the deadlock, statistically liable to be before half-time.
On Saturday, no player will be more familiar with this fixture than Rovers striker Jason Roberts. The former Wigan man has featured in eight of the 12 Premiership games between these sides and opened the scoring in this fixture last season – a seven goal thriller.
Of those eight encounters, Roberts has netted in four of them – not a bad return for a striker who has scored just 32 Premier League goals in his last seven top flight seasons, a far cry from the one-in-two ratio he maintains in this fixture.
The 33-year-old can expect to feature from the bench this time around and is 2/1 with bwin to get on the scoresheet. Tempting as those odds are, the real value for your wager lies in the 15/2 offer for Roberts to score the last goal of the game.
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