MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
2 February 2017
Team news, facts and figures, head-to-head and ticket details ahead of The Owls’ visit to the DW Stadium.
Wigan Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday match preview.
Latics manager Warren Joyce: “The belief in the squad is there to see.”
Latics look to make it three league victories in succession
WIGAN ATHLETIC v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 3 2017
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WARREN JOYCE: Read the manager’s thoughts prior to the game, click here
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It’s back to league action on Friday night at the DW and after the excitement of Old Trafford, this is another huge game for Warren Joyce’s men up against play-off chasing Wednesday.
Carlos Carvalhal is aiming to at least emulate last season’s achievements for The Owls, who agonisingly fell at the final hurdle when they lost out to Hull City in the Championship Play-Off Final – the so called £200 million game, Hull’s winner coming from former Latics midfielder Mohamed Diame.
Carlos Carvalhal – Wednesday's Portuguese head coach has been revelation
With an expensively filled squad, promotion is the aim for Wednesday and despite just one win in five coming into the game, they will be coming to the DW with three points definitely in mind.
However, Latics have been excellent since the turn of the year and taking away the defeat against Manchester United – league form going into this one reads two victories in their last two games.
They will certainly not be overawed by the occasion and it should make for a fascinating encounter.
Having just a few weeks ago been struggling to fill all 18 shirts with senior professionals, Warren Joyce will probably have a few to spare after the arrival of eight new players this week; albeit three went the other way. Injury-permitting, it could be the same starting eleven for the third match in a row, therefore, although there will be some furious jostling to get a place on the bench.
Omar Bogle - could Latics' new striker feature in some way on Friday?
For Wednesday, Stephen Fletcher is suspended but Sam Hutchinson is available after serving out a one match ban and Carvalhal may decide to tweak the side who drew 2-2 at Bristol City on Tuesday night, as the recovery time between the two matches has been short. Deadline day signing Jordan Rhodes is sure to feature in some way, even if it only on the bench.
SEASON SO FAR
Wednesday currently sit outside the automatic promotion places courtesy only of goal difference and they are perfectly placed to make a charge in the second half of the season. They have a near symmetrical record from their 15 games away from home, with four victories, six draws and five defeats. They have shown what they are capable of doing on occasion, but there have also been disappointing results in the search for that consistency which will elevate them closer to the automatic promotion places. So basically, without stating the glaringly obvious, this match could well go one of three ways!
CURRENT SQUAD, 2016-17 LEADING LEAGUE GOALSCORERS
11- Sam Winnall (all at Barnsley)
8- Fernando Forestieri
6 - Stephen Fletcher
5 - Gary Hooper
4- Kieran Lee
Two FA Cup meeting aside when Latics were still in the Northern Premier League (each team winning once) this is only the third season that the teams have come across other.
In the three games at Hillsborough, Latics have won once and lost twice, including earlier this season and it’s a win a piece in the previous two games at the DW.
A late Jordi Gomez penalty sealed it in March 2014, while Atdhe Nuhiu sealed a 1-0 win here the last time the sides met, in December of the same year.
You can relive the highlights of the former here:
SOME WHO HAVE PLAYED FOR BOTH CLUBS…
The current Wednesday squad contains David Jones and Callum McManaman, the latter making his first return to the DW Stadium since his departure two years ago – he will surely get a great welcome back from the Latics supporters.
Calmac – Back at the DW on Friday
New signing Alex Bruce had a short loan spell at Hilsborough in 2005, Chris Kirkland also joined Wednesday after leaving Latics while back in the 90s but the big link is current Under 21 coach Peter Atherton.
Wigan-born Peter came through the ranks with us of course and went on to captain his home town side before signing for Coventry City. He then had six great years as an Owl, notching exactly 250 games in all competitions, five years as captain, as well as being voted Supporters’ Player of The Year on two occasions. Fair to say he’s a legend in Owlerton…
Peter Atherton, still has the freedom of Hilsborough…