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Match Previews

U18 PREVIEW: ROCHDALE V WIGAN ATHLETIC

5 May 2016

Latics head to face Rochdale for potential title clincher.

  • Latics travel to Radcliffe Borough FC to face Rochdale.
  • Under 18s would seal Youth Alliance title with victory.
  • Kick off at 11.00am, live coverage on Latics Wall.

Rochdale v Wigan Athletic
Saturday 7 May 2016, kick off 11.00am
at Radcliffe Borough FC's Belvoir Stadium
in the Football League Youth Alliance

PREVIEW


It's crunch time for the Under 18s on Saturday when they travel to Radcliffe Borough FC's Belvoir Stadium to face Rochdale in their final fixture of the Youth Alliance season, knowing only a victory would see them crowned as the division's champions.

Latics head into the title deciding fixture one point behind current leaders Bury who have a superior goal difference by one, meaning a draw or defeat would see Latics miss out on top spot.

The Shakers, who have now played all 28 of their matches, finished on 61 points with a +38 goal difference, with Latics on 60 points and +37.

Opponents Rochdale, who sit ninth and could finish eighth with a win, are familiar to Latics in that a defeat at Radcliffe on the last day of the 2014/15 season saw Latics miss out on the title to none other than Bury.

Speaking about the alarming similarity between this weekend's final match and that of last season, Gregor Rioch (speaking for Sunday's match day programme) said the players are determined not to let history repeat itself:

"A lot of the players in this group haven’t experienced anything like this before, but those who were here last season are fully aware of how familiar the situation is and they’re fully focused on making sure it doesn’t end the same way as it did last year.

"We should have played Rochdale in April but it got called off due to weather, and the only date we could get was the day before the last first team match of the season.

"I looked at my diary and thought history is repeating itself.  Last season we played Bury towards the end of the season and we were the top two teams in the division and that happened again this season as well.

"We managed a draw against them this time around to keep us a point behind, and with our game in hand we now know what we need to do.

"The games the lads have had this season against Derby County and Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup will help them to control their nerves much better than when we played Rochdale in the last game of last season, because the group hadn’t played in games where they were taken out of their comfort zone to the same effect."

FOLLOW THE MATCH


Goal and major incident updates will be available on Twitter via @LaticsOfficial with coverage on Latics Wall.

For those wishing to attend the match, the Belvoir Stadium post code is M26 3PE


  • RESULTS: See Latics' full Under 18 schedule.
  • PROFILES: Learn more about the team.

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