Latics look to extend home unbeaten run as the Cod Army visit for the first-ever Football League meetings between the two sides.
- Fleetwood won one and lost two of their three away games so far this season.
- Latics yet to concede at home in three League One fixtures, collecting seven points.
- Another ‘Family Zun Zone’ prior to the match, supporters also reminded to support Juan Carlos Garcia in the 23rd minute.
Wigan Athletic will look to move into the top six of Sky Bet League One and continue their home unbeaten run in the third tier when Fleetwood Town visit on Saturday.
It will be the first occasion in which the two sides have met in the Football League after both clubs held a rivalry that consisted of over 50 games in non-league, up until the last meeting in 1976.
For Latics to mark the occasion with a rise into the top six, they will need to win and hope at least four of the five sides immediately above them in the embryonic Sky Bet League One table, slip up.
Fleetwood arrive at the DW Stadium in 13th place, a point behind Latics, after failing to win in their last three fixtures.
Fans are reminded prior to the game that there will be another ‘Family Fun Zone’ for the whole family prior to the game and also that the club will be supporting Leukaemia CARE’s work, and defender Juan Carlos Garcia who is currently receiving treatment for a type of blood cancer, with collections prior to kick-off. In the 23rd minute of the game, supporters will also be prompted to salute Juan Carlos from the stands.
Tickets are still available for the clash with the Cod Army, for further details [click here].
FLEETWOOD TOWN FC
A remarkable rise, which has seen average gates creep up to around the 3,500 mark, was continued last season for Fleetwood as Graham Alexander’s side could consider themselves unlucky not to sneak into the League One play-offs. The top four sides in the division – Bristol City, MK Dons, Preston North End and Swindon Town – were comfortably challenging from the early season but the remaining two play-off spots weren’t decided until late on with Fleetwood eventually finishing 10th and missing out by six and eight points respectively to Chesterfield and Sheffield United. But for a poor Christmas run and streak of just one win in their final five games, the Cod Army could well have produced another bid for promotion.
It simply wouldn’t be the modern Fleetwood way to set their sights on consolidating this season and the club will without doubt be aiming to challenge for a place in the top six. Alexander’s summer business saw no fewer than sixteen players leave, including former Latic Stephen Crainey, defender Liam Hogan, midfielders Jeff Hughes, Steven Schumacher and Stewart Murdoch and forward Gareth Evans. Nine replacements have arrived, whilst forward David Ball, who trialled with Latics in the summer, re-signed after initially failing to agree a new deal. Of the nine arrivals, four (Amari’I Bell, Jimmy Ryan, Eggert Jonsson and Bobby Grant) bring with them Championship or League One experience whilst Declan McManus, who arrived from Aberdeen, is a Scotland youth international.
Summer signing Jimmy Ryan in action for Fleetwood.
Fleetwood’s pre-season schedule included fixtures with AFC Fylde, Borussia Dortmund ‘B’, Alemannia Aachen, Kilmarnock and Burnley which all ended in defeat. Their sole victory came in their final game as an Antoni Sarcevic double secured a 2-0 victory over La Liga side Getafe.
The Cod Army’s League One campaign kicked off with the visit of newly promoted Southend United as McManus’s debut goal was cancelled out by a late David Worrall strike to earn the Shrimpers a 1-1 draw. A Capital One Cup defeat to Hartlepool United and 1-0 loss at Oldham Athletic was followed up by a 4-3 win at Bury as Alexander’s side twice came from behind to record their first win of the campaign. Colchester United then felt the full force of the Cod Army as goals from Ryan, Ball, Jamie Proctor and Jamille Matt secured a 4-0 victory. Their last three games have returned just two points, though, as a 2-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers was followed up by consecutive 1-1 draws at home to Rochdale and Bradford City.
Jamille Matt celebrates his late equaliser against Rochdale.
With only one clean sheet to their name in eight games in all competitions, it is clear to see what Fleetwood need to address as they look to move into the top six. With 11 league goals in seven league games, Latics will need to be at their best to protect their run of three clean sheets from three League One home games, this season.
FOLLOW THE MATCH
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