The current League One champions take on the League One runners-up in this Championship clash, which could be described as a relegation six-pointer. Just eight months after both Burton Albion and Wigan Athletic’s triumphs last campaign, both the Brewers and the Latics find themselves down at the wrong end of the Championship table.
Burton Albion are currently in a more favourable position, however, as they lie just outside the relegation zone by a single point. Whereas Wigan Athletic are six points from safety. A win for the Latics wouldn’t see them climb any places, but could see them within two points of third bottom Blackburn Rovers, and three from Burton Albion. A win for the Brewers, however, could see them rise as high as 18th in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Both these sides, like all clubs from the top two tiers, were in FA Cup action this weekend. Albion visited Hertfordshire to take on Premier League outfit Watford. The Brewers went down 2-0 thanks to goals from Christian Kabasele and ex-Wigan loanee, Jerome Sinclair.
The Latics, on the other hand, beat fellow Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest on home soil, with goals from Will Grigg and an in-form Yanic Wildschut. The game could have been very different, however, if it wasn’t for Stoke City loanee Jakob Haugaard’s penalty save to deny Eric Lichaj and Forest a route back into the game. Subsequently, Wigan won 2-0 and, later in the week, were drawn against holders Manchester United at Old Trafford in the next round.
There have been four previous meetings between the sides throughout history, with the Brewers being unbeaten against Wigan Athletic. Burton visited the DW Stadium this season in October but neither side could break the deadlock. Wigan’s last visit to Burton was in their League One title winning campaign last season. 5,461 people were cramped into a packed out Pirelli Stadium to watch 1st take on 2nd in a pivotal game in the title race. Michael Jacobs broke the deadlock early on for Wigan but they were pegged back when Tom Naylor equalised for the Brewers. The game went on to finish 1-1.
Marvin Sordell could be available for the Brewers as he missed the cup tie with Watford at the weekend because he was cup-tied. Luke Varney is ruled out of the clash after he broke a rib and punctured his lung at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Luke Murphy could be in line to make his first start for Albion after he arrived on loan from Leeds United and came on off the bench in the defeat at Watford. Nigel Clough also revealed that only 12 players had trained this week, following a sickness bug.
Warren Joyce revealed that the injury sustained to Nick Powell might not be as bad as first feared and that the former Manchester United man wouldn’t need an operation, meaning that he could be back in training in up to 8 weeks time. Joyce also told the media that Andy Kellett, Craig Morgan and David Perkins are all back in training, but that they aren’t expected to be quite ready to be in the starting eleven.
Burton (Expected): McLaughlin; Flanagan, McFadzean, Brayford; Dyer, Williamson, Murphy, Naylor, Harness; Sordell, Miller.
Wigan (Expected): Haugaard; Power, Burn, Buxton, Warnock; Jacobs, MacDonald, Morsy, Gomez, Wildschut; Grigg.