Port Vale vs Wigan – Match Preview

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So to the 7th match in League One, this will be against Port Vale, kick off will be 3pm on Saturday the 12th September.
If you’ve ever wondered where Port Vale was, it’s best to describe it just North of Stoke!  Though I assume Port Vale fans don’t like anyone using the words ‘Stoke’ to describe anything about Port Vale.  So probably best to say Burslem, South West from Leek.  Also didn’t realise & yes I had to use Wiki, but Port Vale is one of the few clubs who are not named after the geographical location it is based in, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent & Mersey Canal. #nice
Wigan last played against Port Vale in 2002, a Boxing day game, in which Jason De Vos scored the only goal at Vale Park.  Earlier in the season Vale had beat Wigan at the JJB with a like wise score.  In fact 5 of the last 6 games between these two, okay over 13 years ago have been 1-0, the last game, was Wigan’s promotion season to Division One with 100 points.
Going into the game, Wigan go off the back of 2 wins on the spin, you may think it’s been a long time since Wigan did this!  Surprisingly, Wigan did this in early March of this year with 2 wins against Blackpool (relegated with us) & Norwich (Promoted to the Premier League).  In fact Wigan have won 3 of their last 4.  It means they’re now 9th in League with 10 points.
Port Vale come into the game off the back of the defeat to Bradford, were they scored a 94th minute winner by a Man City Loan player.  In fact looking at the BBC’s report on the game, the 2 pictures of Bradford’s Devante Cole are from his City playing days & as the report is just 9 lines long, I assume no one from the BBC could be arsed to attend the match.  Prior to that Vale had had 3 draws and a win, the 3 draws against some strong teams in League 1!  Their victory a 3-0 thumping of Doncaster, putting Wigan’s challenge this weekend in presepctive, as they could only muster a 0-0 draw against Doncaster at the DW in August.
The bookies see a rather even game, with Vale at 9/5 to win, Wigan at 7/5 to win and you can get 12/5 for the draw.  You can get 9/1 for a 0-0 draw and 11/2 for a 1-1 draw, so you can see the bookies are seeing a low scoring draw for this game.  Wigan are 7/1 to win 1-0 to keep up the trend of previous results between these 2, where as Port Vale are 15/2 for a 1-0 victory.
It should be a good test for Gary Caldwell’s men against Rob Page’s team, a 1-0 away win against a strong defensive Vale team, will probably make other teams sit up & take notice.
Did you know Rob has played and scored goals in all 4 tiers of English football, played 550 games including 215 for Watford and played 41 times for Wales.  #respect
Looking at Rob’s seasons, he probably played against Wigan for Watford in the 97/98 season in League Division 2.
As for the prediction, I’ll look like I’m going to fall off the Fence into the bright grass that is ‘Lightside’, I’m going for a 1-0 win for Wigan, but it’ll be a tough hard game.
Andy

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