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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

16 April 2015

Latics host the Seagulls in Gary Caldwell’s first home game in charge.

  • Caldwell’s side looking for win to keep slim survival hopes alive.
  • Look back at classic win over Brighton & Hove Albion and their Player to Watch.
  • We look at the Seagulls’ campaign to date.
Gary Caldwell takes charge of his first home game as manager of Wigan Athletic on Saturday, as Latics host Brighton & Hove Albion, with the aim of making up ground on 21st place Rotherham United in the fight to survive in the Sky Bet Championship.

Latics arrive back at the DW Stadium following a 2-0 defeat away to Millwall on Tuesday, whilst Chris Hughton brings his Seagulls on the back of a 0-0 home draw against Huddersfield Town.

Martyn Waghorn is unavailable due to suspension following his red card at the Den, but Jason Pearce’s has had his three match ban overturned after successfully appealing against his dismissal in the same fixture.

Sam Baldock and Solly March remain sidelined for the visitors, with their biggest omission, Joao Teixeira, ruled out for the remainder of the season after breaking his leg against Huddersfield.

Tickets for this fixture are available until kick off on the day of the game.  For full details [click here].

INTRODUCING BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

Since returning to the Sky Bet Championship in 2011, Brighton have recorded three consecutive top ten finishes, the latter two both resulting in qualification for the play-offs and both ending in semi-final defeats to Crystal Palace and Derby County respectively.

Back-to-back 1-0 defeats got the 2014/15 campaign off to a poor start for the Seagulls but wins over Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers, as well as a 2-2 draw with Charlton, left Brighton well-placed going into September.

That’s when it all began to go wrong for the south coast side as Sami Hyypia couldn’t find a winning formula with consecutive defeats at Brentford and Ipswich followed by four draws and a Championship winless run that stretched 11 games before the Seagulls defeated Latics.

That win brought some reprieve for the former Liverpool defender as draws with Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City followed before three consecutive defeats, including defeats to fellow strugglers Fulham and Millwall, spelled the end of the former Finland international’s reign.



Caretaker manager Nathan Jones secured four points in his two games in charge before Chris Hughton (pictured above) was appointed manager at the turn of the year.

The former Newcastle United and Norwich City boss won his first two games at the helm, against Brentford in the FA Cup and Charlton in the Championship.

Further wins over Leeds United, Birmingham City, Ipswich Town, Derby County and Blackburn have all-but secured the Seagulls’ top-flight status with an enthralling encounter with Arsenal in the FA Cup ending in a 3-2 defeat, another notable point of Hughton’s brief Brighton career to date.

Brighton have the best defensive record in the bottom half and they will look to keep hold of the likes of Lewis Dunk and Gordon Greer if they’re to sustain a push towards the top-half again next season.

FLASHBACK

Wigan Athletic 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Saturday 21st August 2004
JJB Stadium
The Championship




Latics made it ten points out of a possible 12 at the start of the 2004-05 season as a Nathan Ellington double and Per Frandsen strike secured a 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the JJB Stadium.

Paul Jewell’s side had drawn against Nottingham Forest on the opening day in front of their own support before recording valuable wins in the capital against Millwall and West Ham.

As a result of the positive start to the campaign, Jewell named an unchanged side for the fourth consecutive match, and, despite a frustrating-half in terms of opening the scoring, Latics were rewarded when Ellington buried in first-half stoppage time after a strong run by Jason Roberts.

The Duke’s second came after just four second-half minutes, as he took another pass from Roberts before firing in from 25 yards.

And Brighton were napping when Jimmy Bullard rolled a short corner into the path of Frandsen to thump home the third from 25 yards out.

The reverse fixture, in March, would also prove to be a memorable match for Latics as Jewell’s side secured a 4-2 win at the Withdean Stadium with goals from Bullard, Lee McCulloch, Gary Teale and Roberts.

Latics: Filan, Wright, Breckin (Thome 83), Jackson, Baines, Teale (Eaden 84), Bullard, Frandsen, McCulloch, Roberts (Graham 79), Ellington.
Unused subs: Walsh, Mahon.

Brighton: Kuipers, Virgo, Cullip, Hinshelwood, Butters, Harding, Mayo (Jarrett 61), Nicolas, Molango (Robinson 70), Currie, Knight.
Unused subs: May, Jones, Hart.

MAN TO WATCH – LEWIS DUNK



In defence, Brighton’s second highest scorer with seven goals in 42 games in all competitions this season is Lewis Dunk.

The Seagulls youth graduate hadn’t bagged for his hometown club in his first 65 appearances.

A threat from set-pieces at 6’4’, Dunk has been a regular this season, featuring 40 times in all competitions with a sending off at Brentford and his accumulation of ten yellow cards preventing him from being an ever-present.

Former Albion boss Sami Hyypia expected interest in the defender in January after a superb start to the season, though the Seagulls did well to keep hold of his services.

Barring a brief loan spell with Bristol City, the 23-year-old is a one club man and he has registered 105 appearances since making his debut in 2009.

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