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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC v BIRMINGHAM CITY

29 August 2014

Latics looking for back-to-back home wins ahead of the international break.

  • The Blues currently lie a point better off than Latics in 16th place.
  • Birmingham won just one of last four against Latics, scoring just once.
  • Lee Clark’s side unbeaten in last three league games.

Uwe Rosler’s Latics will look to extend their home unbeaten run to three games and make it back-to-back wins going into the international break as Birmingham City visit the DW Stadium.

Latics go into the game on the back of recording their first win of the campaign as Oriol Riera scored his first goal in English football to down Blackpool last Saturday.

Tickets are still available for the clash with the Blues, who have former Latic David Cotterill in their squad.

LAST SEASON


The two sides met on Boxing Day last year at the DW Stadium, though the game lacked the festive spirit with Jesse Lingard sent off for a dangerous tackle on Jordi Gomez as a goalless draw was played out in front of 15,000 fans.

Callum McManaman had arguably the best chance for Latics in the first-half but his 20-yard drive was thwarted by Darren Randolph.

James McArthur prodded Jean Beausejour’s cross wide following Lingard’s sending off but the Blues held firm for a point.


The last meeting between the two sides was back in April as McManaman’s sole strike proved the difference between the two sides as Latics secured their place in the Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Championship.

A late onslaught, led by current Latic Emyr Huws, was well absorbed by Latics’ defence with Gary Caldwell superb on his return to the side.

The defeat left Birmingham’s fate out of their own hands on the final day of the season but a 93-rd minute draw at Bolton proved enough as Doncaster Rovers lost at Leicester City.

THIS TIME AROUND

A summer of shrewd additions will have filled Blues fans with higher hopes for this season as Lee Clark has acquired wisely on a lower budget.

Nine of the 11 players brought in on a permanent basis have been free transfers with the likes of Stephen Gleeson, Clayton Donaldson and David Edgar all possessing vast Football League experience.

Donaldson worked under Uwe Rosler at Brentford, scoring 53 goals in 155 appearances whilst Gleeson made over 200 appearances in a five-year stay at MK Dons.

All three have featured regularly as Clark’s have won one, drawn two and lost one of their opening four Sky Bet Championship games.

Latics could welcome back Shaun Maloney for the clash with Birmingham but James McClean, Ben Watson and Chris McCann remain on the side-lines.

MAN TO WATCH – CLAYTON DONALDSON


In attack, Clayton Donaldson will look to bring his Sky Bet League One goal-scoring run a level higher after joining the Blues from Brentford in the summer.

The Bradford-born former Hull City man scored 53 goals in 155 appearances during a three-year stay at Griffin Park after joining from Crewe Alexandra in 2011.

With 105 Football League goals to his name in his career to date, the 30-year-old will be vital to Clark’s side’s cause as the season progresses.

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