Preview ahead of Saturday’s fixture as Latics travel to Rochdale in their second game this week.
- Academy Preview: Latics Under 18s visit Rochdale on Saturday morning
- Latics hoping to bounce back after draw to Port Vale in Youth Alliance last-time out.
- Under 18s hoping to build on impressive 5-0 thrashing of Morecambe in the week.
ROCHDALE U18 v WIGAN ATHLETIC U18
EFL YOUTH ALLIANCE
BOWER FOLD, STALYBRIDGE CELTIC FC
Wigan Athletic Under 18s return to EFL Youth Alliance action this weekend when they visit fourth-placed Rochdale on Saturday.
Latics arrive off the back of a convincing 5-0 win over Morecambe in the Youth Alliance Cup, ensuring they would finish top of their group and qualification into the quarter-finals. A hat-trick for striker Kyle Joseph and goals from Mitchell Culshaw and James Berry ensured Latics’ 100% record in the Youth Alliance Cup.
The two clubs last met in January, with Latics falling to their first league defeat of the 2017-18 season as Dale ran-out winners in the top of the table clash, putting an end to Latics’ impressive ten-game winning streak.
The fixture before this was in September 2017, with Latics running out 2-0 winners. Mwiya Malumo’s brace ensured victory for Nick Chadwick’s side at Christopher Park, who made it back to back wins in the Youth Alliance.
Rochdale will be hoping to bounce back after their last two defeats to Grimsby Town and Tranmere Rovers. Dale won their last four before that, including a 6-1 victory over Latics’ local rivals Preston North End.
Academy manager, Gregor Rioch, will still be without England youth internationals Joe Gelhardt and Jensen Weir following international duty.
Victor Maffeo is also nearing a return from injury, though Latics will still be without right-back Ollie Broe, as he steps up his recovery from injury. Charlie Jolley, Emeka Obi and Will McGuffie will also feature, following their involvement with the development squad in the week, drawing 2-2 with Burnley.