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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V GILLINGHAM

6 January 2016

A closer look at Gillingham ahead of Thursday's game.

  • Latics host Gillingham in first home game of 2016.
  • Tickets available at £15 for adults, with cash turnstiles open.
  • Gillingham arrive on the back of four straight victories.



Sky Bet League One
Wigan Athletic v Gillingham
Thursday 7 January 2016, kick off 7.45pm
at the DW Stadium


PREVIEW

It's fifth versus second in Sky Bet League One this Thursday (7 January), as Latics welcome Gillingham to the DW Stadium for the first home fixture of 2016, live on Sky Sports.

For Latics it's the start of a run of three consecutive home matches, with Sheffield United and Chesterfield set to visit the DW in the coming days.

The visitors arrive fresh off the back of four straight victories in the league, scoring 13 goals in the process, and keeping clean sheets in their last two, both at the Priestfield Stadium.

Latics are also on a positive run, unbeaten in three matches following victories over Barnsley and Fleetwood Town, with a draw against Scunthorpe United last weekend, all on the road.

GILLINGHAM IN 2015/16 SO FAR



Position: 2nd
Last six (league): DLWWWW
Biggest win: 5-1 (H) v Fleetwood Town and 4-0 (H) v Sheffield United
Biggest defeat: 1-4 (A) v Coventry City and 0-3 (H) v Burton Albion
Home record: W10 D2 L1
Away record: W5 D3 L4
Goals scored: 49 (29H+20A)
Goals conceded: 29 (11H+18A)
Leading goal scorer: Bradley Dack 11

A solid start has been the foundation upon which Edinburgh’s side have built their success in the first half of this season with the Gills suffering only an occasional blip after despatching of Sheffield United 4-0 on the opening day of the campaign. A Capital One Cup first round win at League Two high-flyers Plymouth Argyle continued momentum before a draw at Port Vale and win at Bradford City continued the positive start to the campaign. The Gills’ win over Latics towards the end of the month saw them move top of the League One table before they completed the month with a draw at Peterborough United.

In September, solid home wins over Doncaster Rovers and Blackpool set the tone for a continued push to the top of the league, though surprise defeats at Colchester United and Barnsley allowed Burton Albion to create a gap in first place. Those defeats were followed by a 5-1 win over Fleetwood Town at Priestfield and, though they drew their next game 3-3 with struggling Oldham Athletic, wins against Chesterfield, Crewe Alexandra and Scunthorpe United had Edinburgh’s side back on top towards the end of October.

The Gills’ worst spell of the campaign, and this just goes to show how well they have been doing, came towards the end of October as they drew with Southend United and lost at Walsall – both top seven sides. An FA Cup defeat to Stevenage and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy exit on penalties to Yeovil Town made it a four-game winless run but it is fair to say the Kent side will have been content their blip came in a period of cup fixtures.

Since that defeat to the Glovers, Gillingham have kicked on and, barring defeats to high-flying Coventry City and Burton Albion, they have been relatively unscathed. In fact, the Gills come into this game on the back of four consecutive victories with home wins over Colchester United and Bradford City following away successes at Millwall and Swindon Town.

Priestfield has proved to be the hardest ground to go to in the country in the 2015-16 campaign with only Middlesbrough equalling the impressive 32 points from a possible 39 that the Gills have achieved on their own patch this season.

Another strength of the Gillingham team has been their ability to score goals, with the 49 they’ve notched this campaign bettered only by Peterborough United (52) in League One.

Manager Justin Edinburgh has been nominated for Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month.

TEAM NEWS

Latics are set to be without Kevin McNaughton, with the defender now back in training following a long term injury.  Francisco Junior remains at Everton receiving treatment for his injury and will also be unavailable for selection.

Gillingham are likely to be without Luke Norris according to their manager, after he picked up an injury in their last outing against Bradford City.

Forward Dominic Samuel will be available for selection after extending his loan stay from Reading, but the Gills will be without Adedeji Oshilaja and Jordan Houghton who have returned to parent clubs Cardiff City and Chelsea.

CLASSIC MATCH

Division Two
Latics 4 Gillingham 1
13 March 1999
Springfield Park




After an early set back when Kevin Lisbie gave Gillingham the lead, Latics ran riot at Springfield Park, Paul Rogers grabbing an equaliser in the 14th minute, before Simon Haworth scored a goal in each half, with Stuart Barlow rounding off the win three minutes from time, in a game which could quite easily have garnered more goals for the hosts.

Victory moved Latics up into ninth place in Division Two, a table they would finish sixth in, with opponents Gillingham eventually ending the season in fourth.

Latics' team that day was: Carroll, Sharp, Bradshaw, McGibbon, Greenall, Balmer, Rogers, O'Neill (Lee 89), Liddell, Haworth (Porter 89), Barlow (Lowe 89)

Gillingham lined up as follows: Bartram, Ashby, Patterson, Butters, Pennock, Smith, Southall, Hessenthaler, Asaba, Lisbie (Hodge 64), Taylor


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