Wigan Athletic (H) Match preview

Wigan Athletic v Tranmere Rovers – Match Preview

@Prenton Park

EFL Trophy

Wednesday 11th November 2020 – 6:30pm

This upcoming Wednesday evening, Tranmere turn their attention from league to cup action as they look to battle it out against Wigan Athletic in the EFL Trophy. This game will be Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson’s third game in charge for Rovers, interim managers following Mike Jackson’s departure. So far, they have a 100% win record together and the team has improved massively with their newly found attractive style of play. On the Weekend, Tranmere beat Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup. Thus, if Tranmere win their next game they have beaten two league one sides in consecutive fixtures. With that in mind, supporters shall turn their attention to the squad members that are available/unavailable for selection and the position that Wigan find themselves in going into this fixture. This is Rovers’ final group game of this season’s newly named ‘papa john’s’ trophy and a win will see them through to the knock-out rounds.

Going into this game, Rovers have two unavailable squad members. Midfielder Paul Lewis was substituted off five minutes into Saturday’s fixture at home to Accrington Stanley, with a suspected leg injury. However, the complete details are unknown to the public. Striker Stefan Payne, following a groin operation, remains unavailable as the 29-year-old battles through his recovery process. Two out, two in? Striker Morgan Ferrier could make a possible return to Prenton Park after being on the receiving end of a hamstring injury. Also, newly recruited midfielder, Danny Lloyd, could make a possible debut at Prenton Park. The 28-year-old signed a short-term contract and will look to impress at the first time of asking. The Liverpudlian has represented many football league clubs across his career. However, Rovers fans will remember him most as being the scorer of a hat trick whilst playing for Peterborough United as the ‘Posh’ knocked their hosts out of the FA Cup. It would certainly be exciting to see Lloyd and Ferrier make their seasonal debuts together on Wednesday evening.

Wigan Athletic play in the third tier, a tier above their upcoming hosts. Their home ground is named the ‘DW stadium’ and this can hold 25,138 people. They are managed by the mancunian John Sheridan who, throughout his playing career, appeared more than 100 times for Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Oldham Athletic. In 1991, he won the football league cup whilst playing for Sheffield Wednesday he won the football league cup. However, his only promotion as a player came at Bolton Wanderers as they won the football league first division in 1997. He transformed from player to coach whilst completing his coaching badges during his time at Oldham Athletic where his role went from co-caretaker to permanent manager. Across his football management career he has been seen in the Boundary Park hot-seat three times on a permanent basis. This is Sheridan’s first full season as ‘Latics’ manager, overseeing a squad that was relegated from the championship due to administration issues. There were many departures in the summer at the DW Stadium, six players were sold for over £500,000: defenders Antonee Robinson and Cedric Kipre left the recently relegated club alongside midfielders Jensen Weir, Alfie Devine, Joe Williams and Jamal Lowe. There were also a number of squad members that departed on undisclosed fees, free transfers and through being released. Coming into the club were players such as centre midfielder Matt Palmer on a loan basis until christmas and attackers such as Dan Gardner and Will Keane. There were others that came into the club. However, I believe that the players mentioned are players that, if played, should cause Tranmere many problems. 

Forward Joe Garner is the club’s top scorer so far this season, with seven goals in thirteen appearances. Thus, he shall be Tranmere’s greatest problem this Wednesday. 32-year-old Garner started his career at his hometown club Blackburn Rovers, the strikers best run of form coming at Preston North End where he scored 49 goals in 129 appearances as he guided the club to the championship through a play-off promotion. He has since gone on to represent Glasgow Rangers and Ipswich Town. 

So far this campaign, the ‘latics’ have picked up seven points from eleven league one encounters, seeing them rooted at the bottom of the table. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup and EFL Cup at first time of asking. They were defeated, after added time, by Chorley 3-2 and the scoreline finished the same against Fleetwood Town as the ‘latics’ travelled to the fisherman’s home ground of Highbury. In the EFL Trophy, they have played at home to Liverpool U21s and Port Vale, a win tonight would see them progress to the second round.        

Did you know?

Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup as little as seven years ago; Roberto Martinez’s ‘latics’ beating Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley Stadium. Young forward Callum McManaman starred in that game, receiving the ‘man of the match’ award. However, it was his team-mate Ben Watson that would score the winning goal.

It is always difficult to predict the teams that a manager will set out for an EFL Trophy tie. Thus, it is also difficult to predict the scoreline that the ties will finish in. However, if I had to guess the eleven that will be chosen by Dawes and Parkinson this would be it.

Team – Murphy, O’Connor, Nelson, Ray, Ridehalgh, Macdonald, Banks, Spearing, Woolery, Smith, Blackett-Taylor 

Scoreline – Tranmere Rovers 3 Wigan Athletic 1

Supporters can view this game through the use of ‘Ifollow’. They can also, if they have enjoyed this match preview, read a piece in which I have sent questions over to a Wigan supporter.

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