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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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23 December 2019 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Rovers v Wigan Athletic

A look ahead to our penultimate home game of 2019 as we aim for five wins on the spin at Ewood Park

23 December 2019

Following back-to-back away games, Rovers make a long-awaited return to Ewood Park when we host Wigan Athletic under the lights this evening.

Tony Mowbray's men go in search of a fifth successive triumph on home turf, with an encounter against the Latics giving Rovers the chance to extend their unbeaten run to seven games in the Championship.

Having made six changes for the win at Bristol City last time out, Mowbray faces a selection dilemma when Paul Cook's side make the short trip north.

Bradley Dack returns from suspension and is back available, whilst defender Derrick Williams returned to training last week.

Following a goal and an assist in the 2-0 victory at Ashton Gate, Bradley Johnson is pushing for successive starts, but will face strong competition from an in form Corry Evans.

Up front, it remains to be seen whether Mowbray will go with two up front again, with the impressive partnership between Sam Gallagher and Ben Brereton reaping rewards for Rovers last time out.

Alternatively, Danny Graham could lead the line once again having scored in his last game at old club Swansea City in the 1-1 draw.

Christian Walton is expected to keep his place in goal, and he'll be up against a club he knows well having represented the Latics 69 times across two seasons on loan at the DW Stadium.

For the visitors, Chey Dunkley is back in contention having sat out the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town due to suspension, and the former Oxford United defender is likely to come back into the heart of the backline in place of Kal Naismith.

On loan from Rovers to Wigan, Charlie Mulgrew isn't eligible to play against his parent club.

Ahead of the game, Cook admits it's an encounter that he's looking forward to following a nine-day wait for a match.

“We go into a very difficult derby match, live on Sky, under the lights, it will be a good and competitive game and a game we are looking forward to," he told the Wigan official website.

“It is a great game; one we are really looking forward to. Blackburn are in some excellent form and have had some very good wins both home and away and I am delighted for Tony.

“We have had a small rivalry for a period of time now from both coming out of League One.

“I think Blackburn’s recent run stands them in good stead to look into the New Year with optimism. For ourselves, it’s a different fight at the minute but one that we are very much looking forward to.”

Due to broadcasting restrictions, the game will be unavailable to stream on iFollow Rovers both in the UK and internationally. Match audio passes are available for £2.50.

Alternatively, you can follow all the action across our social media channels.

Kick-off at Ewood Park is at 7.45pm.

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 0-0 Wigan Athletic

A stalemate at Ewood Park sees Rovers move within two points of the play-offs in the Championship

23 December 2019

Rovers are now seven games unbeaten in the Championship but will see a home stalemate with Wigan Athletic as a missed opportunity.

The chances were there for both sides, with Rovers coming closest to winning it in the second half when Danny Graham crashed a header against the upright.

Sam Morsy forced Christian Walton into a smart save late on but in truth the result was probably the fairest outcome in the chill at Ewood Park.

A frustrating night all round was added to when Bradley Dack was forced off with what looked like a serious knee injury midway through the second half.

The point moves Rovers closer to the play-off places, and we now sit just two points off the top six.

Tony Mowbray made seven changes to his starting team against the Latics, with the likes of Stewart Downing, Corry Evans, Dack and Graham all coming back in.

Dack returned following suspension but Tosin Adarabioyo missed out following a knock picked up in training earlier in the week.

Rovers started well enough, but struggled to test visiting goalkeeper Jamie Jones in the opening 20 minutes, but the same could be said for Wigan, with ex-Latics loanee Walton relatively untroubled until he was called upon to hold onto Michael Jacobs' shot from just inside the box.

Josh Windass was next to force Walton into a save, but his cross-shot was straight down the throat of his former team-mate midway through the half.

At the other end, Darragh Lenihan's downward header from a deep Stewart Downing cross had to be turned behind by Jones as both teams searched for the opener.

Chances were few and far between in what was a frustrating first half for Rovers, with both teams going into the break as they started the game.

Rovers were better after the break, but Jamal Lowe was closest to breaking the deadlock just after the hour mark when he unleashed an effort that flew a yard or two beyond Walton's right-hand post.

A break in play then saw Dack forced off with what looked to be a serious injury, with Lewis Holtby on to replace the talisman for the remainder of the game.

Graham cracked the crossbar when he connected brilliantly with Armstrong's delivery. His attempt beat Jones, but hit the upright before being hacked clear from danger.

The Latics came again and Walton had to beat away a curling effort from Morsy as the clocked ticked to the 80th minute.

From the resulting corner kick routine Walton had to be alert again, this time to flick away Cedric Kipre's header as the visitors grew in confidence.

That gave Rovers a kick up the backside and Rothwell forced Jones into a smart save before Lenihan's header was hacked off the line and Downing's right-footed scorcher deflected just wide.

Time was running out for a winner, and Rovers were thankful for Williams for getting in the way of Morsy's strike in the final minute of added time before Lowe flashed a header just wide.

A superb stop from Jones denied Holtby a moment later with an impressive save down low to his left after the German's effort flew through the bodies and looked destined to nestle in.

Despite a flurry of opportunities late on, neither team could find what would have been a dramatic late winner.

Rovers: Walton, Nyambe, Lenihan (c), Williams, Downing, Travis, Evans (Johnson, 60), Armstrong (Gallagher, 80), Dack (Holtby, 69), Rothwell, Graham.

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Bell, Brereton, Bennett.

Booked: Rothwell, 90.

Wigan Athletic: Jones, Morsy (c), Byrne, Robinson, Kipre, Naismith, Massey (Williams, 62), Jacobs, Lowe, Evans, Windass.

Unused substitutes: Marshall, Dunkley, MacLeod, Roberts, Pilkington, Garner.

Booked: Morsy, 38, Windass, 88.

Referee: Gavin Ward.

Attendance: 18,726.

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