May 3, 2014 at 12.15pm UK at ​Ewood Park
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
WiganWigan Athletic
Cairney (13'), Gestede (19', 35'), Rhodes (84')
Hanley (45'), Gestede (68'), Kilgallon (86')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Ramis (17'), McClean (59'), Maynard (87')
McClean (45'), Crainey (79')

Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Wigan Athletic

Preview: Blackburn vs. Wigan
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews the Championship final-day meeting between playoff hopefuls Blackburn and Wigan at Ewood Park.

Blackburn Rovers go into Saturday's Championship meeting with Wigan Athletic still dreaming of sneaking into the playoffs this season.

Gary Bowyer's side kept their slim hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over Charlton Athletic last weekend and go into the final day as one of three teams who could still mathematically claim the final playoff place.

However, Reading and Brighton & Hove Albion are both much better placed than Blackburn to secure a top-six finish, so Bowyer would need results to fall very kindly for his side to stand any chance of overtaking them.

Rovers sit three points behind the Royals in sixth, meaning that they would need Burnley to beat Reading and Nottingham Forest to win against Brighton to have a shot at the top six.

Even then, goal difference comes into play, with Blackburn needing a seven-goal swing over both Reading and Brighton to overtake them in the table.

It is only a mathematical rather than a realistic possibility then, but Blackburn will be confident of doing their bit and beating the Latics at Ewood Park.

The hosts are now unbeaten in 11 matches and, while the majority of those games have ended as draws, Blackburn have won their last two and scored seven goals in the process.

It is now five matches since they last tasted defeat in front of their own fans, while they have kept clean sheets in each of their last three home outings. Even if they do miss out on the playoffs, their end-of-season form will raise optimism that they can go one better and finish in the top six next year.

Bowyer will likely be without Tommy Spurr for the match, while Ben Marshall is definitely sidelined through injury.

Wigan, meanwhile, secured their own playoff place with a narrow 1-0 victory over Birmingham City on Tuesday - a vital result considering they had slipped down to sixth place with a shock defeat to Blackpool last Saturday.

It has been an eventful campaign for the Latics, with a change of manager plus a Europa League campaign and a run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. However, it could get even more eventful if they are able to reach Wembley and secure an immediate return to the top flight.

While they have little to fight for this weekend on first glance, a point would be enough for them to secure fifth place and a playoff semi-final with fourth-placed Queens Park Rangers rather than third-placed Derby County.

They will be keen to get back to form away from home too, having managed just one victory from their last four matches on the road after a run of six straight wins.

Chris McCann and Ben Watson are both still out for Uwe Rosler's side, but the Latics' injury worries have subsided in recent weeks with a number of other long-term absentees returning to fitness.

Recent form

Blackburn: WWDDWW


Possible starting lineups

Blackburn: Robinson; Keane, Kilgallon, Hanley, Olsson; Taylor, Evans, Cairney, Conway; Gestede, Rhodes

Wigan: Carson; Perch, Boyce, Barnett, Beausejour; McManaman, Gomez, McArthur, Espinoza, Maloney; Waghorn

Sports Mole says: 2-2

Manager Jose Riga of Charlton Athletic looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Huddersfield Town at The Valley on March 12, 2014
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