First meeting between Latics and the Blades since 2007’s ‘Battle of Bramall Lane’.
- Eight-and-a-half years since famous Premier League clash.
- Latics could move up to fourth in Sky Bet League One with win, Blades looking to close gap on the hosts to just one point.
- Sheffield United, managed by former Latic Nigel Adkins, the only League One side Latics yet to face this season.
Boxing Day football at the DW Stadium sees Wigan Athletic host Sheffield United in Sky Bet League One as Latics’ return to the third tier reaches the halfway point.
After 22 games played, Latics sit fifth in League One and could move up to fourth come the halfway stage if they record a victory over the Blades on Saturday and Coventry City lose in their home game with Port Vale.
Fellow promotion chasers Sheffield United arrive at the DW Stadium following consecutive league victories that have seen them close the gap on the top six to just one point.
Latics will make changes to their squad for their win at Barnsley last time out after loanee Alex Revell – a substitute at Oakwell – returned to his parent club Cardiff City.
Kevin McNaughton and Chris McCann edge close to their recoveries from their respective injuries, though Saturday will certainly come too soon for the former.
The visitors will be without Che Adams as the forward, who has scored seven goals in 20 matches this season, serves the final game of a three match suspension following his red card against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup second round earlier this month.
- Latics and the Blades have both scored the majority of their goals in the final 30 minutes of matches in League One this season.
- The hosts have kept three more clean sheets than their visitors this season, though Nigel Adkins’ side have scored three more goals.
- Latics have lost just one of the previous six meetings between the two sides, though the away team has won the last three matches.
- Only Coventry City’s Adam Armstrong and Jacob Murphy, Bury’s Leon Clarke and Scunthorpe’s Paddy Madden have had more shots of target that United’s Billy Sharp this season.
- Latics have only failed to score in two of their last 14 matches against Sheffield United.
Sheffield United 1 – 2 Wigan Athletic
Sunday 13 May 2007
Latics secured their Premier League status for another season at the expense of their hosts in one of the Premier League’s most memorable finales.
United were relegated on goal difference in controversial circumstances as West Ham United’s win at Manchester United proved enough to ensure the Hammers’ survival after Paul Scharner and David Unsworth bagged to secure a 2-1 victory for Paul Jewell’s Latics at Bramall Lane.
Paul Scharner volleyed Kevin Kilbane’s cross home to give Latics a 14th minute lead before John Stead levelled for the Blades.
However the game’s decisive goal was scored on the stroke of half-time when Phil Jagielka handled Kilbane’s free-kick inside the area and Unsworth, a former Blade, stepped up to fire home the spot-kick.
Lee McCulloch was sent off in the second-half and Emile Heskey performed admirably in defence as Jewell’s side held on for the most valuable of successes.
Sheffield United: Kenny, Jagielka, Morgan, Kilgallon, Geary, Gillespie, Montgomery (Davis 79), Tonge, Stephen Quinn (Kazim-Richards 56), Nade (Webber 46), Stead.
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Leigertwood.
Latics: Pollitt, Taylor (Unsworth 42), De Zeeuw (Skoko 31), Boyce, Baines, Valencia, Scharner, Landzaat (Folan 77), Kilbane, Heskey, McCulloch.
Subs Not Used: Filan, Camara.
Tickets are available for the clash at a discounted price of £15 for adults, £10 for Over 65s, £5 for Under-18s and £2 for Under-5s if purchased in advance of Boxing Day’s fixture.
Cash turnstiles will be available on the day of the game for home fans, though tickets will be subject to a price increase, for further details click here.
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