Latics v Barnsley - Big Game Preview
Tonight's opponents Barnsley are exactly where I though the Latics would be at the start of this current campaign, hovering around mid-table as the season draws to a close.
The Tykes have had a great time acclimatising to the Championship from League 1, whilst we have struggled to keep our heads above water throughout the previous nine months.
Saturday's game against Rotherham was low on quality but high on entertainment, it had everything, five goals, missed chances, goalkeeping gaffs, off the ball incidents and most importantly for us, three points.
Realistically we haven't much hope of avoiding the drop, we probably would need to win four of our final five games, even then it wouldn't be guaranteed, what would be nice though would be to firstly secure more points than we did in 2015, 39 points that season took us down, and secondly finish the season above Blackburn, that would finish the season off with a bit of positivity to carry forward to the next one.
Up the tics!
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Graham Barrow - ''It was a difficult day for us on Saturday but we got character in abundance. It spoke volumes about the players and showed that we're still in it and that they care about the situation.
''You'll never beat the feeling of winning and that's the feeling we want again against Barnsley, even though we know it'll be a difficult job.
''There was a little bit of rivalry between ourselves and them last year, so I expect a tough game but an open one.''
Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom - ''They're still in with a shout and you have to believe that right until the end and it`ll be like Blackburn, a team who give absolutely everything.
''If you're down at the bottom, you're going to be struggling for goals, if you're scoring goals for fun, you're not going to be down there, however as of late, Wigan have been letting goals in.
''They made changes at the weekend and got the result, it was a really competitive game against Rotherham, two teams scrapping for their lives and scrapping for every point and Wigan came out on top and I'll be expecting more of the same from them.''
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Alex Gilbey looks set to miss the game with a 'slight' knee injury, not sure why Gilks was dropped to the bench on Saturday, still there tonight? Possibly.
Latics possible - Haugaard, Hanson, Buxton, Morgan, Burn, Warnock, MacDonald, Power, Colclough, Jacobs, Obertan
Player to watch:
Jacobs carries our biggest attacking threat at the moment.
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Barnsley Team News:
Adam Hammill and Andy Yiadom are missing for Barnsley.
Barnsley possible - Davies, Janko, Roberts, MacDonald, Jones, Moncur, James, Scowen, Hedges, Bradshaw, Kent
Player to watch:
On loan from Liverpool, the young winger has a bright future ahead of him.
Latics and Barnsley have met just 13 times previously.
Latics have 6 wins, Barnsley 4, draws 3.
Last Six Meetings
19 Nov 2017 - Championship - Barnsley 0 Latics 0
08 May 2016 - League One - Latics 1 Barnsley 4
19 Dec 2015 - League One - Barnsley 0 Latics 2
05 Dec 2015 - Johnstone's Paint Trophy - Latics 2 Barnsley 2 (2-4 on pens)
18 Feb 2014 - Championship - Latics 2 Barnsley 0
03 Aug 2013 - Championship - Barnsley 0 Latics 4
Simon Hooper (Wilts)
Take a look at our 'Meet The Ref' article for the low down on today's match official.
Simon Hooper Card Watch 2016/17
Games - 38, yellows - 133, reds - 3
Head says 1-1 draw.
Heart says another open game with the Latics to just edge it 2-1, as always going with the heart.
Championship Run In
Brighton and Hove Albion v Latics
Latics v Cardiff City
Reading v Latics
Latics v Leeds United
Check out the latest PWU Podcast - Easter Time
A bit of WWE down at the DW on Saturday when Rotherham were in town, Nick 'The Horse' Powell came out on top over Lewis 'Costly' Price, the Horse's 97th minute strike flashing into the back of the net to give the Latics 3 points and consign Rotherham to yet another away defeat.
Two games to look forward to, well you know what I mean, Barnsley are at the DW on Thursday, then it's off to Brighton on Easter Monday.
Last on the agenda, but certainly not least is the Development Squad's fine victory over Fleetwood in the Central League cup final, Si gives us his report on proceedings.
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