Warren Joyce will be searching for his first win on home soil as Wigan Athletic manager following his sides very impressive performance away against Derby County on New Year’s eve. The Tics stopped the rot that was losing five consecutive matches, incidentally, beginning with a defeat at the DW to Derby. Latics had chances to win the game through Will Grigg and even Derby boss Steve McClaren said he was grateful that ex-Tic Scott Carson had kept out a number of Wigan chances throughout the game. The last side The Tics beat was Huddersfield Town, who are the first visitors to the DW this calendar year.
As for the Terriers, their festive period couldn’t have gone better since the defeat to Latics. Wins away at Norwich and at home to Nottingham Forest, alongside a draw at home to Blackburn have seen Town hold their playoff position in fourth place, only behind Reading on goal difference. This, alongside gaffer David Wagner turning down an approach from Wolfsburg, has given the Terriers real confidence that they can still be chasing promotion come May.
The sides last met at the end of November in West Yorkshire, in a televised clash. Latics ran out 2-1 winners, thanks to an inspired Yanic Wildschut, who bagged himself a goal and an assist for Reece Burke in the game. Whereas, the Terriers star man, Aaron Mooy. also hit the net in between the Wigan goals, with an easy finish past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The two sides have met four times at the DW Stadium, with Town winning the last encounter between the two sides. Previous to that 1-0 win for Huddersfield just under 2 years ago, The Latics had won all previous encounters at the DW Stadium in the old Division Two and The Championship.
Wigan Athletic now have one more option to the depleted squad, after they recalled youngster Ryan Colclough from his loan spell at MK Dons. However, Warren Joyce admitted he still expects there to be big injury problems, with the Wigan gaffer telling the media there’s definitely nine players ruled out through injury. Joyce also told the media he was forced to field centre-midfielder Shaun MacDonald despite “not being 100%” in the New Year’s Eve’s stalemate at Pride Park.
Huddersfield Town, on the other hand, could be boosted by the return of captain Mark Hudson, after he came on from the bench in their draw at home to Blackburn, last time out. Tareiq Holmes-Dennis will face a late fitness test to be in contention for the squad, whereas David Wagner will be without Jonathan Hogg and Sean Scannell through injury.
Wigan (Expected): Jaaskelainen; Warnock, Burn, Buxton, Kellett; Wildschut, Gomez, MacDonald, Power, Jacobs; Grigg.
Huddersfield (Expected): Ward; Lowe, Hudson, Schindler, Smith; Van La Parra, Palmer; Whitehead, Mooy; Kachunga; Wells.
Featured Image Credit: Dan Farrimond