Latics head over the Pennines this afternoon to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
It is only three weeks since the sides last met, on that occasion we allowed the Blades to come back from three goals down to claim a share of the spoils, hopefully lessons learned that day will help us to see this game out.
Under Nigel Adkins Sheff United haven’t had the season that they were hoping for, hovering outside the playoff spots for most of the campaign so far they will be hoping to make a push in the final third of the season, upfront they do look dangerous, but that is where their quality lies and the do look vulnerable when defending, hopefully we can exploit this today.
The Latics are making a charge to secure a top two place come the end of the season and automatic promotion that finish will bring, it is important for us to keep our current run of form going and put pressure on the three clubs directly above us in the table. Burton, Walsall and Gillingham all have home games today, though none would be classed as an easy fixture, if we can get the three points at Bramall Lane then those three sides would really start to get jittery about the Latics coming up from behind.
Up the tics!
What The Bosses Say
Latics boss Gary Caldwell:
‘I’m sure we’ve learned from the last time we played Sheffield United. The last 25 minutes made it into a bad night.
‘The team responded fantastically from the disappointment and started winning games straight away, showing that it hurt them as much as anyone.
‘To score three goals ahead at home in our last three matches is very positive, and I think the Sheffield United game has helped us to win those other two games convincingly.
‘We knew before that game that Sheffield United had scored a lot of goals late on in games, we certainly found that out first hand, and they did it again to Colchester United.
‘Nigel Adkins sets his team up to play in a way that they always give everything, and they push you throughout the 90 minutes. There’s no doubt this is going to be another tough game.’
Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins:
‘Wigan are an excellent side.
‘They have so many attacking threats and they are always likely to score goals, but they will be saying exactly the same thing about us.
‘It was an exciting match when we last met, we didn’t deserve to be 3-0 down, but we showed on that evening the spirit, resilience and togetherness within the squad, we never know when we are beaten and we proved it then, Wigan will have that in the back of their minds on Saturday.
‘But we need to defend much better, a couple of decisions went against us at the DW Stadium, but overall we could have prevented a couple of the goals.’
Sheffield United Team News:
Chris Basham and Matt Done should be fit enough to come into the squad following time out with hamstring injuries.
Bob Harris is likely to miss out as he battles back to fitness.
Sheffield United possible – Long, Brayford, Coutts, Collins, McEveley, Baxter, Campbell-Ryce, Edgar, Hammond, Done, Sharp.
Player to watch: Billy Sharp
Always a goal scoring threat, busy striker who can cause damage
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Michael Jacobs will be missing for at least another couple of weeks.
Andy Kellett and Reece James are close to being back with the squad, whilst new loan signing Conor McAleny should get a place on the bench.
Caldwell is expected to name an unchanged side following the demolition of Port Vale last weekend.
Latics possible – Jääskeläinen, Daniels, Morgan, Pearce, Wabara, McCann, Perkins, Power, Vuckic, Wildschut, Grigg.
Player to watch: Will Grigg
Following his hat-track last weekend, Grigg will be looking to keep his goal scoring run going.
He’s in fine form at the moment.
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Sheffield United have met 17 times down the years.
Latics have 5 wins, Sheffield United 7, draws 5.
Last Six Meetings
12 Jan 2016 – League 1 – Latics 3 Sheffield United 3
13 May 2007 – Premier League – Sheffield United 1 Latics 2
16 Dec 2006 – Premier League – Latics 0 Sheffield United 1
01 Jan 2005 – Championship – Sheffield United 0 Latics 2
18 Dec 2004 – Championship – Latics 4 Sheffield United 0
28 Dec 2003 – League Division 1 – Sheffield United 1 Latics 1
Steve Martin (Staffs)
If ever a ref owed us one then this clown is that man!
Why not take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article.
Steve Martin Card Watch 2015/16
Games – 23, yellows – 59, reds – 4.
Head says 2-2 draw.
Heart says no slip ups this time, Latics to win 1-3, as always going with the heart.
Latics v Oldham Athletic
Walsall v Latics
Latics v Bury
Millwall v Latics
Latics v Peterborough United
Check out the latest PWU Podcast – Higher and Higher
Well what can we say following on from what was a great week for the Latics, a superb performance against Port Vale, a 3-0 win and some excellent business, in and out, in the transfer market.
Will Grigg notched his first hat-trick for the club at the weekend, Burton, Gillingham and Coventry all lost, we are now looking good for an automatic spot come the end of the season.
Transfer business concluded, O’Donnell, plus big earners Holt and Cowie leave the club, whilst hot prospects Sam Morsy and Ryan Colclough arrive.
Latics youngsters were unfortunate on Tuesday to lose against Man City in the FA youth cup 3rd round, the game went to extra time and could have gone either way, a super performance that bodes well for the future.
We are off to Sheffield United on Saturday, still smarting after letting a three goal lead slip just three weeks ago the Latics will want to get maximum points here to make up for that dreadful last 15 minutes at the DW.
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