Traditionally not the best fixture for the Latics, the one following an international break, hopefully we can put that to bed this afternoon when Brighton are in town
One of the preseason favourites, the Seagulls had a slow start under new boss Oscar Garcia, but they have hit a run of form of late and are looking strong to push on, currently a place and point below us in the table, we can expect a tough game
Owen Coyle speaks about home form being the key to our promotion push, so far so good on that front, we need to keep the run going and make the DW Stadium a place that opposition teams fear to come
A bright but cold day, perfect for football, this should be a cracking game and I am looking forward to it already
What The Bosses Said:
Latics boss Owen Coyle:
‘We’ve had some really busy periods already this season, but we’re going into the most hectic of them all now with no international break between now until March.
‘We’ve got a period of three exciting home games in the space of a week, starting with a tough encounter against Brighton.
‘They have found some very good form of late and Oscar Garcia has assembled a very good footballing side which we are well aware of, but equally they will know our threats and we’ll be doing everything in our power to maintain our excellent home form and take the three points.
‘Wherever I’ve been as a manager, I’ve always prided myself and my team on having a strong home, a place which is very difficult for opposition teams to visit.
‘It’s crucial to achieving our goal of Premier League promotion this season, and so far we’ve made the DW a good home.
‘The fans have been tremendous and for me it’s important that we keep rewarding them for getting behind us by putting a smile on their face’
Brighton boss Oscar Garcia:
‘We started slowly, which is normal as we wanted to change some things, but we are improving now and we are on a good run. We will try to keep the momentum going.
‘The international break has its pros and cons; one of the pros is that we had some players coming back from injury and a con is that we were on a good run.
‘Wigan is a massive game. They have a strong squad, they are playing in the Championship and Europa League and they have enough potential, not only with their players but their budget, to have a good chance of promotion.
‘But we will go there to have a go, and our mentality must be to pick up the three points, and to play good, attacking football.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Scott Carson, Ali Al Habsi, Gary Caldwell and Shaun Maloney are all still on the treatment table, Ivan Ramis has returned to training but is still a way off being in contention
Nick Powell returned early from England under 21 duty with an injury and Ryan Shotton has been ill during the week, both are expected to make a full recovery in time for the game
Latics possible – Nicholls, Boyce, Barnett, Rogne, Perch, Watson, McArthur, Albrighton, McManaman, Powell, Fortune
Player to watch: Callum McManaman
His form is now picking up and Roy Hodgson’s comments about an England call up could just spur him on to what we saw at the end of last season
McManaman getting back to his best
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Brighton And Hove Albion Team News:
Leonardo Ulloa, Kazenga LuaLua, Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Hoskins are all out
Brighton boss Oscar Garcia has a few stars returning from injury, Will Buckley, Keith Andrews, Andrea Orlandi, Kemy Agustien, and available for selection today
Brighton from – Kuszczak, Bruno, Upson, Ward, Greer, Ince, Crofts, Caskey, El-Abd, Lopez, Bridcutt, Conway, Barnes, Lita, Ankergren, Calderon, March, Agustien, Andrews, Buckley
Player to watch: Andrew Crofts
Wales international midfield man with 4 Championship goals so far this season
Latics and Brighton have met ten times
Latics 4 wins, Brighton 5, draws 1
Last Six Meetings
15 Mar 2005 – Championship – Brighton and Hove Albion 2 Latics 4
21 Aug 2004 – Championship – Latics 3 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
12 Jan 2002 – League Division 2 – Latics 3 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
18 Aug 2001 – League Division 2 – Brighton and Hove Albion 2 Latics 1
12 Apr 1997 – League Division 3 – Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Latics 0
05 Oct 1996 – League Division 3 – Latics 1 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
Last time out:
Brighton and Hove Albion 2 Latics 4
Brighton – Virgo 36, Hammond 83 mins Latics – Bullard 2, McCulloch 4, Teale 17, Roberts 34 mins
Brighton – Shaaban, Hinshelwood, Butters, Virgo, Harding, Oatway, Nicolas (Hammond 54), Reid (Watson 66), Hart, Knight, McCammon (McPhee 72)
Unused subs – Mayo, May
Latics – Filan, Eaden, Breckin, Wright, Baines, Bullard (Jarrett 84), Kavanagh, McCulloch, Teale, Ellington, Roberts
Unused subs – Walsh, Jackson, Graham, Johansson
Referee – Andy D’Urso
Attendance – 6,306
Iain Williamson (Reading)
Why not take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article
Iain Williamson Card Watch 2013/14
Games – 10, yellows – 25, reds – 1
Head says 1-1 draw
Heart says Latics to win 2-0, as always going with the heart
UEFA Europa League
Latics v SV Zulte Waregem
Latics v Derby County
Why not have a listen to the latest PWU Podcast, there is a preview of todays game, as well as lots more Latics discussion