Date: 21st June 2017 at 9:55am
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In the bleak midsummer, fans scrabble for the slightest semblance of a talking point. But the palpable hype surrounding fixture release day is justified, since it’s when we find out the (probable) date for Blackpool away.

I say ‘probable’ because each and every game in the 2017/18 season is likely to be shifted for the Microsoft Paint Trophy, Caribou Cup, Ben Watson Memorial Trophy and seasonal bouts of trapped wind that decimate the team to the point of fixture postponement. Hey, it’s happened before… granted, in the Sunday Lunch League, but still.

Also, I ought to mention that we can’t print all fixtures here without paying £100 and half a packet of American style cream biscuits. Since that’s supposed to be my lunch, it ain’t happenin’.

Notwithstanding such disclaimers, let’s take a brief look at the fixtures that (probably) matter in Latics’ 2017/18 campaign.

Get your fixture summary here.

First up is a no doubt scorchin’ encounter with The Dons down in sunny Milton Keynes. The rest of August is filled with deliciously unpredictable cup ties, but also a visit to Oldham on the 19th. Get your plastic ready for that one, kids!

The games just keep on comin’ throughout September, culminating in a ‘Ball Boy is Superman’ rematch with Walsall at the DW on the 30th. I wonder if they’ll get that kid back? Or Jussi? Or indeed sign a goalkeeper of any sort?

Saturday 21 October is the date for your diaries, the Great Blackpool Tour of 2017/18. And just one week after, we welcome old friends Blackburn Rovers to casa DW for instalment #2 of a Lancastrian triple header.

Part 3 of that saga is Rochdale away on 11 November, with a trip to New York looming on 25 November. That’s… er, New York in Rotherham, in case you were wondering.

December welcomes Fleetwood, Shrewsbury and Charlton to the DW Stadium as we actually get some Christmas week home fixtures this year. Satisfyingly, the world famous fancy dress comp shall return – we’ve got the Shrews at home on Boxing Day!

Northampton away brings in the New Year on 1 January, and Blackpool will be returning to Wigan on a cold and blustery Tuesday night in February. Those with triskaidekaphobia stay well away – this is slated for the 13th.

Blackburn away finally arrives on Saturday 3 March, though I have calculated there is a 23.4% of this being shifted for the benefit of cable networks, so don’t book those tickets just yet. Mostly because they aren’t on sale for months.

The final month sees three home and two away fixtures, with Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat rounding off the season on 5 May 2018. Er, not forgetting Latics’ visit to Wembley for the Ben Watson Memorial Cup Final, of course.

Yes. Wigan will play Manchester United at Wembley on 19 May 2017, a repeat of the 2013/14 Community Shie-

That’s quite enough, Nosey. Now get back to working out which games will be moved to Friday night for that lady from Countdown to talk about. What, you say she’s no longer a football pundit? How strange. – Ed.