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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: BARNSLEY V WIGAN ATHLETIC

18 December 2015

Read up on our history with Barnsley and their season so far.

  • Latics travel to Barnsley in Sky Bet League One.
  • Two wins from last six in the league for Barnsley.
  • Latics looking to bounce back after winless run in league.

Barnsley v Wigan Athletic
Saturday 19 December 2015
Sky Bet League One
Oakwell Stadium
Kick off 3.00pm


PREVIEW

Latics head to Barnsley this weekend, looking to bounce back from last weekend's narrow 1-0 defeat to Blackpool at the DW Stadium, and in search of their first victory since mid-November, with the Tykes fresh off the back of a 3-2 away victory at Colchester United.

Gary Caldwell's side currently sit sixth in the table and only five points from an automatic promotion place, whilst Lee Johnson Barnsley lie in 21st, just two points from bottom.

TEAM NEWS

Latics are likely to be without Chris McCann and Craig Morgan for the weekend as they continue to recover from injuries, whilst there are question marks over the availability of Ryan Williams for Barnsley due to international duty with Australia's Under 23s.

The Tykes could also be without Marc Roberts due to injury, whilst defender Kevin Long will be back in contention following suspension.

BARNSLEY IN 2015/16 SO FAR

Position: 21st
Last six (league): LLWLDW
Biggest win: 4-1 (H) v Swindon Town
Biggest defeat: 0-3 (A) v Rochdale

Barnsley made a relatively strong opening to the 2015-16 campaign, winning back-to-back matches after an opening day defeat away at Chesterfield.

The Tykes responded by beating Burton Albion 1-0 at Oakwell, before a 3-2 away win at Millwall just days later.  Inconsistency followed, winning two of their next six fixtures, with home victories over Swindon Town and high flyers Gillingham.

Despite winning four of their first nine matches and sitting in a comfortable 11th place in the table, Johnson's side weren't prepared for what came next... an eight game losing streak which saw them drop to 23rd in little over a month.

Barnsley's recent form has kept the pack of teams at the foot of the table tightly squeezed, ending their losing streak with an impressive 2-1 win away at Oldham Athletic for their fifth win of the season, before a narrow 3-2 defeat away at Peterborough United, their last defeat in the league.

A 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United and a 3-2 away win at Colchester has certainly helped the Yorkshire side, pushing them up to 21st, level on points with 20th place Fleetwood Town and just a victory away from 17th.

Away from the league, Barnsley's cup hopes are still very much alive after eliminating Latics from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy just two weeks ago.  The penalty shootout victory after a 2-2 draw over 90 minutes means the Tykes will face Fleetwood Town in the two legged Northern Semi-Final, with a place at Wembley Stadium up for grabs.

Barnsley exited the Capital One Cup in the second round, but were unfortunate to lose to Premier League side Everton 5-3 after extra time, whilst their Emirates FA Cup campaign fell at the first hurdle in a 1-0 away defeat to Altrincham.

In his recent preview with barnsleyfc.co.uk, Lee Johnson said: "In some areas, recruitment is a must. We could potentially be depleted if everybody was recalled and we were unable to extend their loans."

The Oakwell outfit have already had 11 players in on loan this season, including the likes of Ben Pearson (Manchester United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Aidan White (Rotherham United), Ivan Toney (Newcastle United) and Lloyd Isgrove (Southampton).

Since the summer, Barnsley have recruited nine players and lost 13, including highly rated youngster Mason Holgate to Everton.  On their way in were the likes of Alfie Mawson, Marc Roberts, Marley Watkins, Ryan Williams, Reece Wabara, Simeon Jackson and Adam Hammill, who have made up a big part of their team so far.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Saturday will be our seventh meeting in league fixtures with Barnsley, having previously won four and drawn two across the second, third and fourth tiers of English football.

Our most recent visit to Oakwell was in August 2013, Ben Watson, Grant Holt, Leon Barnett and Shaun Maloney all hitting the target in a dominant 4-0 victory.  Prior to that, Latics also won at Oakwell in September 2002, with Andy Liddell, Matt Jackson and Scott Green on target in a 3-1 victory.



Leon Barnett celebrates his goal at Oakwell in 2013.

The first Latics trip the Yorkshire club in the league came back in our first season in the Football League, a 0-0 draw played out in October 1978.

Latics' very first meeting with Barnsley came back in 1954.  Then in the Lancashire Combination, Latics tasted a narrow 3-2 defeat, coming close to another FA Cup upset against league opposition, just a year after beating Hereford United and pushing Newcastle United to the very limit in a third round replay.

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