Championship return sees Latics travel to Bristol City.
- Latics return to the Sky Bet Championship at Bristol City.
- Over 1,200 supporters set to travel. - No pay on the day.
- Listen live on Latics PlayerHD and join in the debate on Latics Wall.
Sky Bet Championship
Bristol City v Wigan Athletic
Saturday 6 August 2016, kick off 3.00pm
at Ashton Gate
After a one-year absence, Wigan Athletic are back in the Sky Bet Championship and raring to go with an opening day trip to Bristol City on Saturday 6 August.
Latics return to action following back-to-back pre-season friendly victories against Oldham Athletic and Fleetwood Town, with the Robins enjoying a relatively successful preparation period, winning five from seven, but drawing their final game 0-0 at home to Portsmouth.
More than 17,000 supporters are expected to take in the first match of the season at Ashton Gate, with 1,200 from Latics set to cheer on Gary Caldwell's side.
Dan Burn, Alex Gilbey, Jake Buxton and Adam Bogdan could all be in line for their competitive debuts on Saturday, with Nick Powell and Stephen Warnock, (the latter deemed fit following a pre-season injury), also set for their 'second debuts' after Powell re-joined Latics from Manchester United, and Warnock signing permanently following last season's successful loan spell.
A number of Latics players could make their competitive debuts, including Alex Gilbey.
Donervon Daniels, Emyr Huws, Craig Davies and Reece James have all missed the latter stages of pre-season with injuries and remain doubts, while Andy Kellett and West Ham United loanee Kyle Knoyle will be sidelined with longer term issues.
Bristol City could hand competitive debuts to summer signings Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson (Juventus), Gary O'Neill (Norwich City), Josh Brownhill (Preston North End), Callum O'Dowda (Oxford United) and Friday morning loanee Tammy Abraham from Chelsea, whilst former Latics goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell looks set to face his former team mates between the sticks.
SUMMER SO FAR
Lee Tomlin back at Ashton Gate following permanent transfer.
In addition to those set for first team debuts in Bristol City red, Lee Tomlin joined the club on a permanent basis following his six goals in 18 matches on loan from AFC Bournemouth last season, with fellow 2015/16 loanee Adam Matthews back into the squad for the new season, on loan once again from Premier League side Sunderland.
Manager Lee Johnson has also added youngsters to his squad with Jack Challis (Birmingham City), Kodi Lyons-Foster (Aston Villa), Shabazz Omofe (Chelsea) and Diego De Girolamo joining the Under 21s, as well as the incoming of goalkeeper Ivan Lucic from Bayern Munich.
Leaving Ashton Gate in the summer were Adam El-Abd (Shrewsbury Town), Karleigh Osborne (Plymouth Argyle) and Scott Wagstaff (Gillingham), with Wes Burns heading to Aberdeen on loan.
LAST SEASON IN BRIEF
Jonathan Kodjia topped the scoring charts for Bristol City.
The Robins' return to the Championship was a successful one in 2015/16, finishing 18th on 52 points and a whopping 12 points clear of the relegation zone following their up-turn in form after the arrival of manager Lee Johnson in February 2016.
The former Barnsley boss replaced Steve Cotterill at the start of the month, with Bristol City sat 20th and only three clear of the drop.
Three consecutive victories in a row and six wins from his first 10 matches in charge saw Johnson's side race away from the danger zone, before winning two, drawing three and losing three in the final eight games to secure a comfortable position ahead of their second consecutive season in the second tier.
During Johnson's initial time in charge, the Robins beat Bolton Wanderers 6-0, Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 and Huddersfield 4-0 all at Ashton Gate.
Jonathan Kodjia's 19 goals after arriving from Wigan's twin-town team Angers SC played a big part in Bristol City's success, with Aaron Wilbraham netting eight alongside Tomlin and defender Aden Flint on six.
Peter Kennedy celebrating at Bristol City in January 2003.
Latics last travelled to Ashton Gate on 10 January 2003, a fourth consecutive unbeaten trip to Bristol City, a venue Latics haven't lost at since 1997, as Peter Kennedy netted the only goal in a 1-0 victory.
The reverse fixture earlier in the campaign saw Scott Green and Lee McCulloch on target at the JJB Stadium in the August of 2002, an impressive double in Latics' Division Two title winning season.
Latics have lost just once in their last eight meetings with the Robins, but Saturday's hosts hold the better record, winning 10 to Latics' five with seven draws.