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22 February 2019

Latics return to EFL Youth Alliance action when they host Tranmere Rovers this Saturday.

  • Academy Preview: Wigan Athletic v Tranmere Rovers.
  • Latics won 4-2 against Accrington Stanley in their last EFL Youth Alliance fixture.
  • The two teams last met in October, with Latics running out 4-1 winners.


Latics' Under 18s host Tranmere Rovers in the EFL Youth Alliance on Saturday afternoon as attention returns to the bread and butter of the league following this side's heroic efforts in the FA Youth Cup.

Peter Murphy’s side come off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup, putting an end to Latics’ unbeaten run in all competitions this season.

Though, Latics can reflect proudly on their run in the competition, with two victories prior to the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-1) and Hull City (6-2), as well as reaching the final of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup and the area final of the Youth Alliance Cup, set to take place against Bury FC on Saturday 9 March.

Latics haven't lost in the league for more than 12 months and remain run-away leaders at the top of the Youth Alliance table. A 5-0 win over Shrewsbury Town and a 4-2 home win over Accrington Stanley has got them off to a perfect start in 2019.

Goals from Charlie Jolley, new Northern Ireland youth international MacKenzie O’Neill, a first of the campaign for Emeka Obi and another for Kyle Joseph saw Latics complete a spirited after coming from behind in the game.

Joseph, who made his Scotland under 19s debut last week against Azerbaijan, also signed a two-and-a-half-year professional contract with Latics this week, with the striker hoping to add to his impressive goal tally of 25 goals across Latics’ academy teams on Saturday.

The two teams last met in October, with Latics putting four past Tranmere Rovers to make it ten wins from ten in the EFL Youth Alliance.

Joseph (2), Joe Gelhardt and Jolley earned Latics a deserved three points, despite the hosts grabbing a goal back in the second-half.

Rovers currently sit seventh in the EFL Youth Alliance table, unbeaten in their last five games, winning one and drawing four.

An impressive 3-1 away win against Port Vale got them off to a perfect start in 2019, before four consecutive draws against Walsall (1-1), Accrington Stanley (1-1), Wrexham (0-0) and Blackpool (0-0), leaves them two points adrift of sixth-placed, Fleetwood Town.


Peter Murphy will be boosted by the return of youth internationals, Joseph (Scotland) and O’Neill (Northern Ireland) after their respective call-ups.

Gelhardt and Jolley will also be available and pushing for a place in the team, with both featuring and scoring in the Development Squad’s 3-3 draw with Grimsby Town on Tuesday. 

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