Wigan Athletic vs Birmingham City Match Preview

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Okay so to the next Match in the Sky Bet Championship, here in the TNS offices we’ve been doing further work on our poster reallocation.  You may ask, what the….

Here at TNS, we are still big kids at heart, if you hark back to when Shoot Magazine posters used to adore bedroom walls, up & down the country.  It’s still no different here at the TNS offices, we still have the same posters up on the wall.

Alan’s poster is still Neil Rimmer, Jimmy unfortunately has had to remove his Jordi Gomez poster & luckily no one has a James McArthur poster.  So Jimmy is waiting to see how the Transfer Window pans out for Uwe before he makes his next selection.

So to this next match, the 5th match in the Sky Bet Championship will be against Birmingham City, played at the DW Stadium. The match will be played on Saturday the 30th August, with Kick off at 3pm.

Both teams’ early season form could have been better, with Wigan in 18th place with 4 points and Birmingham 2 places above Wigan with 5 points.  Wigan won their last match (Blackpool) after 2 defeats on the spin (Cardiff & Charlton).  Birmingham have drawn their last 2 matches (Brentford & Ipswich) since a good victory against Brighton.

Match officials for the game; bring to the DW, David Webb as the Referee.  He last officiated a Wigan game in Feb this year, when Wigan beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 away, he issued 4 yellows.  Birmingham last saw David in April, with a victory away to Doncaster 3-1; again this ref issued 4 yellows.  David sidekicks are Martin Coy & Alf Greenwood, with the Fourth Official being Scott Oldhama.

Head to head between Wigan & Birmingham does have some history!  In league matches Wigan have a slight advantage with 5 wins to Birmingham’s 4, with 7 draws. Last season saw a Boxing Day Goalless draw at the DW, with Wigan winning 1-0 through McManaman in late April at St Andrews.  It’s the 2 other matches that bring the history.

In January 1978 Wigan played Birmingham for the first time ever!

It was an FA Cup 3rd Round match, Birmingham were a mid table team in the First Division, come May 1978 they finished 11th in that League.  Wigan were a Northern Premier League team & in the 5th tier of English football, looking to gain election to the Football League after many attempts (sorry Southport).

Earlier rounds had seen Wigan beat Marine 3-0 away in the 4th Qualifying Round, then 1-0 at Springfield Park against 4th Division York City in the First round.  Then another Football League scalp in 3rd Division Sheffield Wednesday, beating them again 1-0 in a Second round tie.  This brought up Birmingham in the 3rd Round tie at St Andrews; the match watched by over 29,000 fans was rather a 1 sided match with Birmingham winning 4-0.

You’d think that would be the end of it, Birmingham moving on to the Fourth round to be beaten by Derby 2-1.  But there are rumours, that Birmingham impressed by Wigan’s approach & set-up offered Wigan the chance of a friendly at Springfield Park if they gained election to the Football League.

So come to Saturday the 29th July 1978, Birmingham true to their word, played a friendly at Wigan’s Springfield Park, the match ended 0-0.  Of course Wigan 21 days later, played their first ever League Game, again a 0-0 draw away to Hereford, with Ian Gillibrand leading the Wigan Athletic team out that day. #history

(Oh & thanks to Cockney Latics for the chance to reminisce)

Team news for Wigan will be who’ll replace James McArthur, and keep checking on Ben Watson, Chris McCann & Shaun Maloney’s injuries?

For Birmingham’s Lee Clark, he’ll be checking up or be without Gavin Gunning, Matt Green and potentially Neal Eardley who left the field early in Birmingham’s mid week defeat to Sunderland 3-0, which saw our aforementioned Jordi Gomez open the scoring for Sunderland.

Don’t forget you’ll be able to purchase the first Mudhutter fanzine of the Season, for just £2.  It’ll be available in the usual places around the ground, check for Jimmy on the bridge.

As for the game, not to state the obvious but a key game for both teams.  They both probably feel they should have more points in the bag & need a decent result to get their season going, kicking on from this match.

Me I’d be happy with a 1-0 win, and Wigan start to build.

Andy

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