Latics aim to bounce back against Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Champions
- Match Preview: Nottingham Forest v Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship.
- Latics look to return to winning ways after defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.
- Paul Cook’s side drew 2-2 with Forest in the reverse fixture at the DW Stadium in August.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST V WIGAN ATHLETIC
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
SATURDAY 26 JANUARY
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Paul Cook's side fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Hillsborough last weekend, but will be looking to draw inspiration from one of their best performances of the season in a 3-0 win against Aston Villa prior to that at the DW Stadium.
Hosts Forest suffered their second consecutive league defeat, with their last win coming at the start of 2019 in an entertaining 4-2 win over current league-leaders, Leeds United.
Famara Diedhiou’s goal ruined Martin O’Neill's emotional return to the City ground, with the 66-year-old making over 280 appearences during his senior career with the Reds.
After constant speculation regarding the future of Aitor Karanka, the Spaniard was sacked following their exit from the FA Cup against Chelsea, with Forest appointing their 11th full-time manager since June 2011 in former player, Martin O’Neill.
Latics’ counterparts currently sit 12th in the Sky Bet Championship, seven points adrift off the play-off places, whilst Latics arrive in 20th.
Referee - Andy Davies
Assistant Referee 1 - Darren Blunden
Assistant Referee 2 - Paul Hodskinson
Fourth Official - Andrew Madley
HEAD-TO-HEAD - LEAGUE
EARLY TEAM NEWS
Speaking to iFollow Latics on Friday morning ahead of his side's trip to Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship, Latics boss Paul Cook said it's been a difficult week, but urges everybody to head to the City Ground with positivity as he and his players aim to replicate the performance that earned Latics a 3-0 victory against Aston Villa two weeks ago.
"It's been a tough week following on from Sheffield Wednesday," Cook began.
"We're without Will Grigg for two or three weeks, but I'm happy to say it's not as bad as we first feared.
"Anthony Pilkington had some bruising from the injury that forced him off and he hasn't trained this week, but there's an outside chance he'll be available for Saturday.
"Cedric (Kipre) also came off at full time with a knock, but he's absolutely fine to play and will start at the back as usual with Chey (Dunkley).
"I don't want to focus on the injuries too much, Cook continued. "We all know that's part of football and injuries happen. I'd rather focus on us being positive heading into the game and working towards the consistency we all want.
"Let's put on a display like we did against Villa and be as positive as we can. We want to score goals and win games, that's what we always set out to do, but we also have to start keeping clean sheets away from home and cutting out these marginal mistakes."
In other news, Nick Powell (calf) continues to recover from a set back suffered last week, with Gavin Massey (hamstring) also on the comeback trail.
Martin O'Neill is low on defensive options due to long term injuries to Michael Dawson and Michael Hefele, with Tobias Figueiredo working towards full fitness, which means January addition Yohan Benaloaune is expected to start at centre half for the second consecutive game.
PLAYED FOR BOTH QUIZ
LATICS LISTEN - EPISODE 23