Team news, facts and figures, head-to-head and ticket details ahead of The Bees’ visit to the DW Stadium.
- Wigan Athletic v Brentford match preview.
- Latics manager Warren Joyce: “The lads have got an extra spring in their step after two victories.”
- Latics look to make it three wins in a row when they welcome Brentford to the DW
WIGAN ATHLETIC v BRENTFORD
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
SATURDAY 21st JANUARY 2017
After two successive victories for Warren Joyce’s team, Brentford will undoubtedly provide a test, and given their last three results – a win, a defeat and a draw – it is difficult to predict which team will turn up, and whether or not a certain prolific striker will be in their side.
Scott Hogan has been a revelation since singing for the club from Rochdale two-and-a-half years ago, despite suffering from an injury nightmare for part of that time. The Mancunian has been linked heavily with a high profile move this January, and his could eventually be the latest Vardy/Austin non-league rags to Premier League riches story.
Scott Hogan - Dangerman
Latics kept him at bay at Griffin Park in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and should he play in this match, he is clearly the danger-man, having netted 14 times already for The Bees this season – albeit he was named only as a substitute in the last game against Newcastle United.
Irrespective of Hogan, Joyce will be setting out his team with victory in mind, and to try and build on two excellent and deserved wins against Nottingham Forest and Burton Albion. Should everything go for Latics - a victory at the DW combined with a Burton defeat at Cardiff and Blackburn failing to beat Birmingham - would see Latics climbing out of the bottom three.
However, defeat at home to the Bees – which has only happened once in 16 previous league encounters in Wigan - in April 2001 – would set an unwanted club record of seven consecutive home league defeats.
For Latics, both Max Power and Yanic Wildschut hobbled off at Burton late on and could be doubts, but Joyce was boosted by the return of Craig Morgan last Saturday, a huge presence in the side when he plays and great news from a Latics point of view. Double Pirelli Stadium goalscorer Callum Connolly should be in line to make his DW bow after his dramatic debut last weekend. Andy Kellett, David Perkins, Reece James, Alex Gilbey are nearing fitness but this game might come too early for them, Donervon Daniels and Nick Powell will definitely not make it.
Craig Morgan, returned against Burton Albion
For Brentford, Sam Saunders and Alan McCormack have both trained but will have to see if the game comes too quickly for them. Callum Elder and Rico Henry have been back training with the Bees all week.
SEASON SO FAR
If there is one word to describe the current season for the Bees, it would be inconsistency. After finishing 5th and 9th in their first two seasons back at this level, expectations were that Dean Smith could maintain that kind of consistency again this season but with the side currently in 15th place, there is a lot of work to do to match those kind of placings.
That said, they do not appear to be in any kind of danger of being dragged in to relegation territory. Four defeats in a row in November rang a few alarm bells but over the past month, Smith’s side have picked up points again. Seven away defeats will not please the manager, although they have won four times on their travels as well and, well, it may be a case of expecting the unexpected.
They won impressively at Birmingham last time out and that should serve as a warning of what this team is capable of.
CURRENT SQUAD, 2016-17 LEAGUE GOAL-SCORERS
14: Scott Hogan
3: Lasse Vibe
3: John Egan
2: Josh Clarke
2: Maxime Colin
2: Nico Yenmaris
1: Romaine Sawyers
1: Harlee Dean
The sides had faced each other 16 times previous to this season, and so far history is very much on Latics’ side, with 16 victories to 9 in our favour, although the last of those did come in April 2003. This is only the third season the sides have played each other since, however, and Latics have not recorded a win over the Bees in the Championship…Latics also have very happy memories of beating Brentford at Wembley in the 1985 Freight Rover Trophy final.
Great memories...1985 Freight Rover Trophy
Records, good and bad, are made to be broken of course…
SOME WHO HAVE PLAYED FOR BOTH CLUBS
Will Grigg and Josh McEachran are the only members of the current squad to have played for both. Adam Forshaw signed for Latics in August 2014 but stayed for only a few months. Rob Kiernan spent a spell on loan at Griffin Park during the 2012-13 season, while Conor McAleny, on loan to Latics last season from Everton, also had a brief spell at Brentford in 2013.
Will Grigg celebrates promotion with the Bees
On both occasions, the manager was Uwe Rosler, who of course was in charge at both clubs – another of the few links between the sides.
Uwe Rosler is unveiled as Latics manager in December 2014, joining from Brentford
Going back in time, former Latics striker Marcus Bent begun his career with Brentford, between 1995 and 1998, while former Latics trainee Warren Aspinall had a couple of seasons at Griffin Park between 1997 and 1999 after his time at Everton, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.
Former Latics striker Marcus Bent, who began his career at Brentford
Referee - James Adcock
Assistant Referee 1 - Billy Smallwood
Assistant Referee 2 - James Mainwaring
Fourth Official - Thomas Bramall