Poor recruitment for Rovers?
Maloney returns to manage Wigan
Wharton a big-price scorer selection
Blackburn Rovers v Wigan Athletic
Monday, 20:00 KO
Sky Sports Football
Rovers transfer woes
Blackburn Rovers will be delighted to finally get back out onto the grass on Monday, after a week dominated by transfer drama. The club believed they had secured the impressive loan signing of Lewis O'Brien from Nottingham Forest, as well as the talented Rochdale youngster Ethan Brierley, only for the moves to be rejected by the EFL due to the late submission of paperwork.
With fans unhappy about the lack of business in the January window, Director of Football Gregg Broughton has had to come out to apologise to them and admit that he is "devastated".
Sorba Thomas was the only arrival in the window from Huddersfield, and if Rovers fail to convert their lofty position into a play-off berth the fingers will be pointed at Broughton and the recruitment team for failing to strengthen in January.
Latics return for Maloney
Former Wigan player Shaun Maloney will take charge of his first game in charge here having been appointed as the successor to Kolo Toure, who was sacked after just nine games in charge of which they won none. Former Hibernian boss Maloney inherits a mess of a squad, built by Leam Richardson to play his pragmatic style then added to by Toure before he was then dismissed.
Maloney's spell at Hibs wasn't a successful one, taking charge of just 15 league games in which they won three and scored just 11 goals. He implemented a possession based style which was solid enough, but struggled for any attacking threat, which sounds eerily similar to what we have seen from Wigan under Toure.
With Wigan facing up to the prospect of an immediate relegation back to League One, having been crowned Champions back in May, the new manager doesn't have much time to turn things around, although a win here would see Wigan jump off bottom spot and within a point of climbing out of the relegation zone.
Despite all the noise surrounding who Blackburn didn't bring in during January, in Sorba Thomas they did make one very astute signing. He's struggled for form this season, but his ability to deliver crosses from dead-ball situations carried Huddersfield to the Play-Off Final last season, and Jon Dahl Tomasson will be hoping for a similar impact here.
Wigan have conceded 12 goals from set-pieces this season, only Bristol City top that, so this looks a perfect opportunity for Thomas to make an immediate impact at Ewood Park.
Scott Wharton looks like he might be the value play to profit from Thomas' delivery. The 6ft 2in centre-back has scored three goals in all competitions this season, and has scored at approximately a goal every 10 games over his career.
The 16/1 for him to score anytime therefore looks value anyway, but when we factor in the Sorba effect and Wigan's track record of conceding from set-pieces, it looks a cracking price and too good to pass up.