Gary Caldwell is desperate for his side to get their away form up and running and what better time to do than against your local rivals and in a televised game to boot.
The Latics travel 15 miles up the M6 to tackle Preston North End at Deepdale this evening, this will be first meeting of the two sides in the league for 11 years, it is a fixture that has been missed by the fans.
Preston have had a five goal thrashing sandwiched between to decent results, a 3-0 home win in the Championship over Cardiff and in the week they travelled to Bournemouth and knocked the Premier League club out of the League cup, last Saturday though they got smashed down at Griffin Park by Brentford, hopefully that’ll be the team that turns up tonight.
We have yet to taste anything positive on the road this season, losing all our Championship games by the odd goal at Bristol City, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Norwich, plus being dumped out of the League cup by Oldham, now is the time to stop this run.
I expect a similar line-up to Saturday when we faced Fulham, Nathan Byrne will most probably come in for the injured Alex Gilbey at right back, apart from that we should be unchanged in a 4-2-1-2-1 line up which should see us through to get our first points on the road of this season.
Up the tics!
What The Bosses Say
Latics boss Gary Caldwell:
”I don’t know what their team will be because of their result the other night at Bournemouth in the Cup and the travelling they have had to do, so that will be interesting.
”We know them, though, we know the strengths they’ll bring and we will be ready.”
”I think we are always learning; last year right throughout the season we learned and we improved and got better as the season went on. This year, we have started from a better platform than the one we had the previous season and I think we are improving all of the time. It is now about turning that into results and that is the most important thing.
”Apart from Sheffield Wednesday, I don’t think we have been outplayed in any game, but for a little bit of luck or better concentration defensively, I have no doubt we would have got more points on the board.”
Preston boss Simon Grayson:
”They have had some good times being in the Premier League, winning the FA Cup, and they suffered the disappointment of going into League One but now they are back into the Championship and they’re looking to progress and stabilise as a football club.
‘We know what to expect, they’ve recruited over the summer and on deadline day and they have got some threats but we will be concentrating on what we need to do to effect the game as well.
‘We are at home, we are going to take the game to them and we’ve got to make sure that we play with the same tempo as we did in the Cardiff game and probably for the first 74 minutes that we did against Brentford.”
Preston North End Team News:
Defender Marnick Vermijl’s suffered a hamstring strain last weekend and is missing from action tonight whilst striker Jermaine Beckford isn’t 100% and won’t be risked.
Preston possible – Lindegaard, Wright, Cunningham, Browne, Clarke, Baptiste, McGeady, Gallagher, Doyle, Hugill, Robinson. Maxwell, Wright, Pringle, Welsh.
Player to watch: Aiden McGeady
Former Celtic player currently on loan from Everton, McGeady can be a class act on his day, hopefully it isn’t his day today.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Donervon Daniels, Reece James, Andy Kellett and Kyle Knoyle are all out long term, Reece Burke had a hernia operation during the week and is set to miss 4 weeks, Alex Gilbey’s ankle and knee injury picked up last week against Fulham isn’t as bad as first feared but he’ll be missing tonight.
Craig Morgan is still struggling with a hamstring pull but both David Perkins and Nick Powell should be in the squad.
Following a good display after coming on for the injured Gilbey new signing Nathan Byrne should start at right back.
Latics possible – Bogdan, Byrne, Buxton, Burn, Warnock, Power, MacDonald, Gomez, Wildschut, Jacobs, Grigg.
Player to watch: Shaun MacDonald
MacDonald had an excellent game at the weekend, his defensive duties allowed Jordi Gomez freedom to move up field and link up with Yanic, more again tonight please Macca.
Roberto on at half-time
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Preston have met 43 times
Latics 14 wins, Preston 16, draws 13
Last Six Meetings
22 Sep 2010 – League Cup – Latics 2 Preston North End 1
30 Apr 2005 – Championship – Preston North End 1 Latics 1
05 Dec 2004 – Championship – Latics 5 Preston North End 0
17 Jan 2004 – League Division 1 – Preston North End 2 Latics 4
16 Aug 2003 – League Division 1 – Latics 1 Preston North End 1
04 Apr 2000 – League Division 2 – Latics 0 Preston North End 1
Oliver Langford (West Mids)
Why not take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article.
Oliver Langford Card Watch 2016/17
Games – 6, yellows 15, reds – 0
Head says 1-1. Heart says 0-2 Latics win, as always going with the heart
Latics v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Brentford v Latics
Latics v Burton Albion
Check out the latest PWU Podcast – Tall Dwarves and Friday Night in Preston
Barry, Simon, Rob and Adam are in the studio this week and PNE supporter Nick Myres meets up for a chat about Friday night’s game.
0:00 Empty seat intros
1:20 ”Barn doors & banjos”: Fulham boreview with Si’s Off The Terrace thingy
3:20 All the numbers with stand-in Statman Baz
8:00 SHOCK! Selection SHOCKS! With Nick ‘Limping’ Powell
12:00 Snow White And The Tall Dwarves: The Dwarf Threshold
15:00 Deep in the Dales: Preston preview with Nick Myres
20:00 Players to look out for on Friday Night Footbawl & predictions (26:00)
28:00 Particularly pristine Preston Fact Pack lovingly prepared by Big Baz
40:00 Fans’ Advisory Board September 2016: does anyone care about matchday programmes?
44:30 FAB continued: free away travel, photoshoot open