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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

30 December 2014

Latics look to end 2014 as they started it with back-to-back league wins.

  • Owls visit the DW after winning the reverse fixture in November.
  • One win in eight away games in all competitions for the Owls.
  • Wednesday’s eleven clean sheets a Sky Bet Championship high.
Malky Mackay’s Latics will hope to record only their second set of back-to-back league victories of the 2014-15 season when Sheffield Wednesday visit the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening.

A superb performance at Leeds United last time out has lifted confidence amongst fans and players and there is hope that Latics can end the calendar year on a high.

Tickets, priced at £10 for adults and £5 concessions, are available up until kick-off from the DW Stadium Ticket Office.

LAST TIME OUT


WIGAN ATHLETIC 1 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 0
WEDNESDAY 12 MARCH 2014
DW STADIUM
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP

Just nine months ago, the Owls lost on their first-ever visit to the DW Stadium as a late Jordi Gomez penalty kept Latics in the hunt for a play-off place in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Spanish midfielder’s spot-kick earned Latics their seventh straight win in all competitions but the visitors felt aggrieved to have not been ahead and against ten men when Ali Al Habsi was only booked for a last ditch challenge on Jacques Maghoma before Leon Best saw his resulting spot-kick saved by the Omani keeper.

That was about the only event of the first 45 minutes before Latics came into life in the second-half with James McClean and Callum McManaman both going close to opening the scoring.

As the game looked to be petering out into a draw, James Perch was fouled by Caolan Lavery and Gomez calmly stepped up to score past Damian Martinez in the Wednesday goal.

THE OWLS IN 2014/15 SO FAR

After guiding the Owls to comfortable safety in 2013-14, Stuart Gray has kept the Owls in mid-table so far this time around.

Gray replaced Dave Jones in December 2013 with the Owls in the Championship relegation zone and he led them to an 11-game unbeaten run before being handed the job on a permanent basis.

This summer, he began to make his own mark on the team with Keiren Westwood, Sam Hutchinson, Tom Lees and Stevie May all arriving at Hillsborough to combat the departures of the likes of Michail Antonio and Jermaine Johnson.

Gray has also been productive in the loan market with Hallam Hope, Royston Drenthe, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Lewis McGugan all signing on a short-term basis.

And the campaign could not have got off to a better start for Wednesday with impressive away wins at Brighton & Hove Albion and Middlesbrough propelling them into the top six, a position they maintained following a 1-0 home win over Reading back in September.

However, three days after the win over the Royals, the Owls were demolished 7-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and they had not recovered from the loss until defeating Latics 2-1 at Hillsborough in November.

A mean defence that has kept 11 league clean sheets this season, Wednesday’s problem is in front of goal with their 17 goals in 23 Championship games a division low.

Stevie May has five goals whilst Atdhe Nuhiu and Chris Maguire have three apiece for Gray’s side in the league with only five other players contributing to the Owls’ tally.

With just three defeats in 11 league games, and just two away defeats all season, the Owls will be pleased with how the first half of their Sky Bet Championship campaign has ended after their 1-0 Boxing Day success over Blackpool.

A push for the top six may be too far away for Gray and his side but a similar run of results to the last month, in which they have won three of the last five, will see the South Yorkshire side finish comfortably in the top half.

MAN TO WATCH – STEVIE MAY


In attack, Scotland international Stevie May is enjoying life in the Sky Bet Championship after signing from St. Johnstone in the summer.

A youth graduate with his hometown club, May scored 32 league goals in 62 games for the Saints during a five-year stay which included successful loan spells with Alloa Athletic and Hamilton Academical.

Capped once by his country in 2014, May was touted as a target for many second tier clubs in the summer with Wednesday the successful side in gaining his signature and he has since scored five goals in 23 appearances, including two against Latics.

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