Another home game, something that fills most Wigan fans with dread at present with a winless home run stretching back to August the 30th last year, a run that has been largely instrumental in Wigan finding themselves firmly ensconced in the bottom three.
One thing that Wigan have been good at during this period has been helping the opposition end their winning away droughts with Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield amongst the beneficiaries of the Latics’ generosity. Derby arrive at the DW today having not won in their last seven games.
Latics defence isn’t all that bad, its their strike force or lack of it which gives cause for concern with only six home goals in twelve home games. A lack of a recognised goal scorer within the squad is also an issue as it was last season. This season the top scorer is winger James McClean with five but the only other player with more than two goals all season is Martyn Waghorn with three a club statistic which has seen the Latics accrue less than a goal a game this season , playing a style of football which has disappointed the many fans used to the silky passing skills of the Martinez era.
The eighteen man squad virtually picks itself but the key areas for a challenge to the starting line up are midfield where Kvist has shone as a recent sub and must be pushing captain James Perch for his spot, a move which could see Perch move into the back four at left back replacing the struggling Gaetan Bong.
The other major area of conjecture is who will play up front with many fans suggesting a cardboard cut out could perform as well as some of the options recently used. Mark Antoine Fortune’s tireless working in an asset and whilst he isn’t going to get the goals that win you games this workload would be beneficial if Wigan could find someone to partner him. Waghorn must be pushing for a start as recent incumbent Clarke has disappointed since coming back from injury.
Derby County managed by one time Wigan target Steve McLaren ( if rumours are to be believed) arrive at the DW having gone from firm automatic promotion favourites to merely a play off contender but buoyed by the return of Bent and possibly Martin, two strikers guaranteed to give Wigan’s back four a testing this afternoon. Aided and abetted by the pace and creativity of Jonny Russell and Will Hughes , Wigan will have to lift their game to get anything out of this match
One major factor which could be a leveller is the pitch which is showing severe signs of wear and tear and may bring Derby down to Wigan’s level. Based on this I have gone for a one all draw, a result that isn’t good enough for either side and a projected Wigan line up of;
Boyce , Maguire, Pearce, Perch
Pennant, Kim, McClean
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