Blackburn v Wigan preview: League One clash live on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 02/03/18 3:16pm
Blackburn might be boosted by the return of midfield pair Ben Gladwin and Peter Whittingham for their top-of-the-table clash with Wigan.
Neither Gladwin (knee) nor Whittingham (calf) have played in 2018 but both have returned to training and are expected to come back into Tony Mowbray's squad soon. Craig Conway (hamstring) has been in full training too, with Harry Chapman (hamstring) the only other long-term absentee.
Mowbray, who is hopeful Dominic Samuel (ankle) can overcome his injury, will also have defender Lewis Travis available again after he completed a three-match suspension.
Nick Powell and Nathan Byrne will return to the Wigan fold at Ewood Park. Neither Powell (hamstring) nor Byrne (calf) were risked in the win over Rochdale last weekend, and Tuesday's trip to Bristol Rovers was postponed so they have had ample time to recover.
Boss Paul Cook will also get midfielder Samy Morsy back from a two-game suspension that prevented him from featuring against Dale and in the FA Cup win over Manchester City. Third-placed Latics are currently six points behind table-toppers Rovers but have four games in hand.
Rovers have lost just once at home to Wigan in any competition, a 1-0 reverse in the Premier League in May 2012 courtesy of an Antolin Alcaraz winner late in the game. Otherwise, they have won 10 and drawn one against the Latics at Ewood Park.
Wigan have won just one of their last six league meetings with Blackburn (D2 L3), a 3-0 Championship triumph in August 2016. They have failed to find in net in both clashes since that win.
Since losing 0-1 to AFC Wimbledon in September, Blackburn have scored in each of the following 14 games, remaining unbeaten (W9 D5) - the longest current unbeaten home run in the division.
Wigan's six game winning streak on the road in the league ended last time out against Southend (1-3), they haven't lost two in a row since the last four away trips of last season.
Wigan Athletic have picked up 66 points from their 31 games in League One this season; only four sides have ever had more since the Football League rebranding in 2004-05 (Swansea City, 67 in 07-08, Leicester City, 69 in 08-09, Charlton Athletic, 69 in 11-12 and Wolves, 67 in 13-14).
Blackburn have a little bit of breathing space over Wigan in the promotion battle in League Two, but have played four games more than the Latics.
Victory here, however, would extend their gap to nine points over Wigan, and you would probably rather have the points in the bag than the games to play. This could be a defining game in the battle at the top of League One and I think there will be plenty of goals and a narrow home win.
David Prutton predicts: 3-2 with Bradley Dack to score first (110/1 with Sky Bet)