So we returned back to the TNS Offices after the Festive break, to find Wigan after a glimpse and it was a glimpse, are indeed still as shit as ever.
The office mood is one of despondency bordering on anger, we had a surprise visit from the Wolf this week, he spent a morning teaching us all how to whistle the ‘Imperial March!’ I’m whistling it as I type this match preview. Click the link if you’re not too sure what that is?
You see the TNS Office is split between 3 socio groups. The ‘Lightsiders’, the ‘Fence People’ & the ‘Dark Side’. As you can imagine all but 1 of the entire TNS office are part of the Dark Side, due to the fact Wigan are indeed Shit to the Core, Team, Manager, Owner, no Chicken Balti Pies on the concourse.
The remaining light is Steve, who even this week believes Wigan will beat Birmingham, he knows the Dark Side force is calling him, but he is our Luke Skywalker, we do hope he can take us into the light?
So it’ll be the 25th game in the Sky Bet Championship. Wigan Athletic will be playing Birmingham City at Saint Andrew’s Stadium, match will be played on Saturday the 10th January with a 3pm Kick off and a 4:50pm defeat of Wigan Athletic.
Birmingham’s are 14th in the League with 31 points; they sit with 3 others teams also on 31 points (Forest, Cardiff & Charlton) & are 14th on goal difference. Wigan is stuck with Blackpool, in 23rd place with just 20 points, & Uwe got most of those. Bournemouth is top with 48 points.
Going in to this game, Birmingham are one of the form teams in the Championship with 12 points in the last 6 games, placing them 4th in the form table. Wigan on the other hand is actually 22nd in the form table & it is surprising there are 2 teams even shitter than Wigan (Charlton & Forest).
- Wigan P 6 W 1 D 0 L 5 (Solitary win against Leeds)
- Birmingham P 6 W 4 D 0 L 2 (Wins against Forest, Reading, Huddersfield & Forest again)
Previous Games between the 2, there have been 19 in total! Overall it’s seen Wigan win 6, 8 draws & 5 wins for Birmingham. I covered head to head in depth in the earlier August match preview, a game that saw Wigan win 4-0 with 2 goals from McManaman, with also Taylor & Waghorn getting on the score sheet. Since scoring those 4 goals, Wigan have played 20 games and scored just 16 goals. Thanks to Cockney Latic for the head to head.
Referee from the Game will be Mick Russell, with his side kicks of Gavin Muge & Timothy Wood, with the 4th official in Keith Hill.
Looking at Mick’s referee stats, his last game for Birmingham was last season in the Championship, a 4-2 defeat to Bournemouth in April saw Mick hand out 3 Yellow Cards. For Wigan, Mick in his 11 season has never officiated a game for us, so this will be new ground.
Team News, for Birmingham is unknown with the fact they made 10 changes for their 3rd Round 3-2 victory over Blyth Spartans, looking at the transfers they haven’t made any signing, so for this game we expect to see wholesale changes.
As for Wigan, the team will be less at least Oriol Riera a £2,000,000 summer signing, who this week signed a loan deal with Deportivo La Coruna. Others no doubt may leave with Andy Delort looking like he’s going & Leicester are hoping they can get Shaun Maloney for £750k? As for new players, Wigan seems to be sniffing around Liam Ridgewell, Andrew Johnson & Ismael Miller, but time will tell on how these January Window deals do?
How the Bookies see the game, as expected 48% see this as a Home win, 26% see both a draw and an Away win for Wigan. William Hill is currently quoting 11/8 for the home win and 9/5 for a Wigan victory.
My thoughts on the game, well no doubt I can’t see Wigan getting much from the game! I do hope & I am grasping on Steve’s Light Side belief for a win, just for the fans, but I do have my doubts.
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