Latics hope to build on an impressive 2018 season when they host Rochdale in the semi-final of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup on Tuesday.
- Academy Preview: Holders Latics Under 18s host Rochdale in the Lancashire FA Youth Cup semi-final.
- Latics won 4-0 against Blackpool to reach the last four.
- Latics aiming to start 2019 campaign strongly after 3-0 victory over Carlisle United in their final match of 2018.
WIGAN ATHLETIC V ROCHDALE
LANCASHIRE FA YOUTH CUP
Latics' Under 18s host Rochdale in the semi-final of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup on Tuesday in an attempt to reach the final of the competition they won in 2018.
A 4-0 victory against Blackpool earned Latics their spot in the last four, with a brace from Charlie Jolley, and Scotland youth internationals, Kyle Joseph and Jensen Weir also sharing the spoils.
As well as being clear leaders of the EFL Youth Alliance, Latics have impressed in cup competitions this campaign, recording six consecutive wins, including a stand-out 2-1 victory over Premier League opposition, Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.
A 3-2 comeback away at Chesterfield and a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Lincoln City will give Latics confidence ahead of the visit of Rochdale, knowing that a win will book them a place in the final of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup on 20 April.
Meanwhile, visitors Rochdale sit second in the North West Youth Alliance table, 12 points adrift of their opponents.
The Dale are unbeaten in their last three games, including 2-0 away victory over Walsall last time out.
A hard-fought 2-2 draw against Macclesfield Town in the Youth Alliance Cup and a prolific 6-2 hammering of Blackpool eased the nerves after exiting the FA Youth Cup at the hands of Queens Park Rangers, crashing out 3-2 winners after extra-time.
With a place in the final up for grabs, the two heavyweights of the Youth Alliance go head-to-head on Tuesday at Christopher Park.
Latics suffered a major blow recently when Mitchell Culshaw was ruled out with a long-term ankle injury.
However, Head of Academy Gregor Rioch has a full squad available to select from, with opportunities presenting themselves for other players. Louis Isherwood, Victor Maffeo and Mackenzie O’Neil are all expected to feature.