Following their crushing weekend defeat in a relegation six pointer, Wigan Athletic travel to the midlands in the Sky Bet Championship to take on Birmingham City at St. Andrews.
The hosts will be looking to build on an impressive performance at home on Friday night in the defeat to Leeds United. Blues dominated for large parts of the game, however, just didn’t have the killer instinct in front of goal, and where made to pay by Leeds’ forward Alfonso Pedraza’s strike and Chris Wood’s brace. However, Blues did have their moments in the match, as Craig Gardner’s deflected effort found its way into Rob Green’s goal. Blues will be looking to get back to winning ways under Gianfranco Zola after this latest setback meant City had only won twice in 16 games under The Italian.
Like Birmingham, Wigan were also beaten last time out, however, in Latics’ case, the performance was far from acceptable. Only a handful of players could take credit from the poor performance at Blackburn, which saw The Tics go on to lose the crucial six pointer 1-0, thanks to a sublime touch and finish from Marvin Emnes. Sam Morsy also collected his 10th yellow card of the campaign in the crushing defeat at Ewood Park , meaning he will be suspended for the clash in the Midlands.
The sides have met 10 times at St Andrews throughout history, with the hosts winning on five occasions, Wigan winning just once and the sides sharing the spoils four times. The last time the sides met at St Andrews, like now, Wigan lied 23rd in the Championship table, and were eventually relegated. They went on to lose the game 3-1, with Clayton Donaldson scoring a hat-trick for Blues, with James McClean scoring a conciliation for The Tics. The sides also met earlier in the season at The DW Stadium in August, with Craig Davies rescuing a point for Latics in the 90th Minute to cancel out David Davis’ goal on the stroke of half-time.
A win for Birmingham could see them rise as high as 12th in the table, however, defeat could leave Blues 18th in the table, falling a place, with Nottingham Forest the only team able to leapfrog them. Wigan must win to avoid falling further adrift of safety. A win for The Tics could see them go on level points with Bristol City in 22nd and within a point of Wolves in 21st, although they have two games in hand on the rest of the sides down at the bottom.
Gianfranco Zola is expected to have Clayton Donaldson missing through a heel injury, which hasn’t seen him feature in any of the 16 games Zola has taken charge of, Michael Morrison is also expected to be missing for Blues.
Warren Joyce will be without Sam Morsy, who as mentioned earlier, is suspended following his 10th yellow card he picked up at Blackburn Rovers. Wigan will also hear a verdict on midfielder Shaun MacDonald who they’re hopeful wont face too long on the sidelines, with potential ligament damage being suggested from the medical staff at The DW. Warren Joyce could be back in the technical area Tuesday night, after he watched the defeat at Blackburn from the stands, following his operation.
Birmingham (Expected): Kuszczak; Cogley, Shotton, Robinson; Nsue, Davis, Tesche, Kieftenbeld, Keita; Gardner; Adams.
Wigan (Expected): Gilks; Connolly, Buxton, Burn, Warnock; Hanson, Power, Gilbey, Tunnicliffe, Jacobs; Bogle.