Ipswich Town vs Wigan Athletic – Match Preview

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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, “IT DID!”

A defeat to Huddersfield meant Wigan stayed on 21 points & 23rd place.

Mid week Rotherham picked up 3 points against Bolton, something normally celebrated in Wigan, but alas it meant Wigan were now 8 points from safety.

Then the WD40 was brought out to oil the Revolving doors as Wigan shipped out 3 players in 2 days, Maloney, McManaman & Ramis all leaving for greener grass.  The FA Cup winning team was down to 1 survivor.

Then something positive happened!

Finally some intelligence was used in the public domain; Wigan stepped in front of the local media and our very own TNS, stating they had problems.  In fact Jonathan Jackson as in an AA meeting stood up & said:

Hi, my name is Jonathan Jackson, I’m the Chief Executive at Wigan Athletic & I’m admitting to Chemistry problems.

Earlier this week Jonathan spent time with TNS’ Jimmy & he published this article, it acknowledges the obvious issues with Wigan today.  It also puts into some perspective the journey Wigan Athletic is currently on.  Please read it will give you an insight in to not only football, but Business & of course Chemistry.

As I build this Match Preview for the Editor, the TNS Office phone has just rung and the Pontefract & Castleford Express have just confirmed Wigan have signed Leeds’ Defender Jason Pearce for around £300k. Also we’ve found out that Wigan have also signed striker Billy McKay from Inverness for an undisclosed fee.

Of course earlier this week Wigan also captured Chris Herd on loan for the remainder of the season from Aston Villa.  Though he’s not eligible for the game against Ipswich.

So as we’ve mentioned the TNS office, it has been a funny week, early Doom, Gloom & Anger has dissipated into realisation.  Though I’ve got a sneaky feeling we’ll beat Ipswich, Steve has amazingly gone for a draw, Moonay says 4-0 to Wigan though I believe he’s under the influence of alcohol, everyone else thinks we’ll get stuffed.

Other office news, TNS is organising a day out at Chorley soon, with Peter organising the mini bus. Wolf has done a cracking article on his thoughts of the season so far.  Moonay almost got into an ‘Heated Debate’ on a Forum on the other side of the River Douglas & Martin is still offering his Managerial services in the hope Malky Mackay leaves after a terrible scandal….oh hang on.

Finally the beard got trimmed after what I can only describe as a Terrorist alert at ‘The Range’ on Saturday.

So to the game, it’s the 28th game in the Sky Bet Championship. Wigan Athletic will be playing Ipswich Town at Portman Road; the match will be played on Saturday the 31st January, with a 3pm kick off.

Wigan’s league position is well documented in being 23rd with just 21 points!  Ipswich is in a healthy play off placed 4th, with 50 whole points, can imagine having 50 points?  Top of the table are Bournemouth with 51 points, oh great just realised I’ve stuck my neck out for Wigan this weekend & we are playing a team that could go top with a win, ahh well.

Looking at recent form coming into this game, Wigan actually has 6 teams below them with worse form in the last 6 games, Dear God!  Wigan are 19th in the form table, with Ipswich in 5th, let’s break down some of that recent form:

  • Wigan P 6 W 1 D 1 L 4 (a Win against Leeds and a draw against Blackburn)
  • Ipswich P 6 W 4 D 0 L 2 (Wins against Boro, Brentford, Charlton & Millwall)

The history of games between Wigan & Ipswich was covered in September’s Match Preview.  The Monday Night football; saw Ipswich take all 3 points in a 2-1 victory. Overall between the 2, there have been 10 games, with Wigan winning 6, the 1 draw and Ipswich winning 3. Thanks to Cockney Latic for the head to head info.

Looking at the officials for the game, it looks like we’ve got the old Etonians this weekend, with a who’s who of posh sounding names, in the referee we have Charles Breakspear and his Assistants will be David Avent & Nicholas Kinseley. The 4th official rounding all these posh names off will be Robert Whitton.

Looking at Charles stats, he’s never looked after a game involving Wigan, but he did take charge of Ipswich’s 1-0 win over Bolton (#Cheer) last season, that February game saw Charles dish out a single yellow card to Ipswich’s Berra.

One thing that does stand out in Charles’ stats is his love of the colour red! This will be his 71st game and in his first 70, he’s issued 246 yellow cards at 3.5 a game & a frightening 22 red cards at 1 every 3 games.

He’s once issued 8 Yellow cards in a game (Notts County vs Bristol City), but also twice, yes twice, issued 7 yellow and 2 red cards, (Ebbsfleet vs Braintree & Braintree vs Forest Green), so I do wonder if the game will end with 22 players, or was it just Braintree?

Team News is going to be a dizzy thing to pin down, with the 3 in 3 out approach.  It’ll mean that Herd aside, Malky will probably start to feel he can pick the team he wants. Of course at the same time knowing the Chemistry that may have been affecting previous teams; is now becoming an innocuous gas.

For Ipswich, Mick McCarthy has found this week that striker David McGoldrick is now available after 2 games out with his knee, but his top goal scorer Daryl Murphy with a Calf strain. Other news sees Midfielder Luke Hyam stay on Physio table with a knee problem, while keeper Dean Gerken hip injury is almost sorted.

How the Bookies see the game, well they are quite confident in a home win, 61% believe Ipswich will win this, 22% are going for a draw and just 17% for an away win. But then again you could get 285/1 for a Bradford & Boro double last weekend.

Odds for the game, William Hill are quoting 4/5 for Ipswich to win, 5/2 for the draw & 7/2 for Wigan to move on to 24 points.

My thoughts on the game, yes daft as it may sound, I’m going for a 1-0 win, the reason why, I can’t really say, I just think this weekend may be it! I’d go for a 3-0 win and Billy McKay to get a hat trick for a real football romantic story, but I think that is pushing it a bit. Also I can’t get the odds on him just yet, though Callum McManaman is 9/1 to score Wigan’s first goal on Saturday, so go figure on those William Hill Web operatives out of Uzbekistan.



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