Wigan Athletic vs Ipswich Town – Match Preview – Yes, there will be Empty Seats!

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Well we’ve had a few days since that Yorkshire incident & luckily the next match is up.

The TNS office in Wigan is starting to come back to life, as the roving reporters come back from Europe and the US of A.  Believe Wildheart may even write up a Baseball match report, if he has time?

So to the next match, this is against Ipswich Town, match is to be played at the DW Stadium, on Monday evening, the 22nd of September with a kick off of 7:45pm.

Believe we are on Sky Sports 1HD that evening, in a match that was originally moved from Saturday the 20th September.

Okay & we are all eternally grateful to Rupert for his gift of Gold for the TV!

But come on, the secret TV Schedulers (we don’t even know who you are), why did you have to pick on Ipswich and ultimately Wigan?

Ipswich fans will have a 480 mile round trip, 240 Miles on a Monday afternoon & evening and then another 240 miles on Monday night Tuesday morning.  Also have you seen the A & B Roads in Suffolk you have to negotiate to get out or into Ipswich?

How many Ipswich fans will be allowed time off work on a Monday afternoon to go and watch a match in Wigan, come on?

“Boss can I leave early, yeah son, what’s it for, Oh need to go watch the Town play away, sure that’s okay, who they playing, oh it’s Wigan……..Sorry lad, can’t allow that, I’ve just remembered we have an urgent invoice that needs to be audited”.

Also Mr Scheduler, how do you think the fans will feel when they return home to Ipswich at 3am/4am.  Did you know that Reading are playing Sheffield Wednesday this weekend (& it’s top half of the table), quick scoot down the M1, turn right.  Better match to be put on the TV & less pain for the fans, remember them!

Just this match is being set up for jovial commentators & multiple Twitter feeds to highlight the empty seats.  I can predict some of those Commentaries & Tweets now in that:

  • As we kick off this Sky Sports match, looks like many fans have decided to stay at home.
  • Wigan don’t deserve to be a football team – @chunkyBob.
  • Call yourself a football team look at your stadium – @ITFCtillIdie45.
  • Look at those empty seats you’re a disgrace – @Bert68.
  • Ha ha ha look at those empty seats – @funkSteam7.

Guess what we’ve heard them all before, we even take this piss out of ourselves in the TNS banner:

This Northern Soul

But the worrying thing is & we’ve touch upon it on the TNS Forum.  This match is lining itself up for a low crowd, even one that could be below 10,000 at the DW, something we haven’t seen for a number of years.

If this season is anything to go off, we’ve already seen a low of 11,708 for the Birmingham game.  That’s off a last season’s low in January vs AFC Bournemouth of 12,709, the season before in the Premiership saw a low of 15,436 turn up for the match against Reading, to give you some perspective.

So let’s see, but just forewarning you, if you hoping for a few laughs on Twitter or through your Sky Sports Mic, we already know.

Anyway, to the match against Ipswich, who can remember that game at Portman Road in 2004, when Leighton Baines hit a thunder bolt from 154 yards out?

The match is the 8th in the Championship, a season that has Wigan in 16th place on 8 points, Ipswich in 10th on 11 points.  Last time out saw Wigan gain a point at Huddersfield.  Ipswich’s last game, saw them beat Brighton 2-0 in a tough match.

Both teams were in the Championship last season, Wigan winning both games.  They won 3-1 at Portman Road in March, the corresponding fixture at the DW, saw Wigan win 2-0, on ironically enough the 22nd September.  Shotton & Powell getting the goals at home, McClean (2) & Barnett, away.

Previous games between these 2, have only seen a few games!  The first league game in 2003 in League Division 1, in the 6 League games played, Wigan have won 5, Ipswich 1 with no draws.

There have been 3 Cup matches, most recent in the 3rd Round of the League Cup in 2008, previous to that, a 2 leg match also in the League Cup in 1992.  Overall in 9 matches played, Wigan have won 6, Ipswich 2 & the 1 draw.

Officials for the match, will see Andy Woolmer as the Referee, with Simon Barrow and Oliver Yates as his assistants & the Fourth Official in Andy Haines.  Andy’s last Wigan game was the last match of last Season, a 1-0 win over Birmingham City & he dished out 2 Yellows.  For Ipswich, Andy last officiated a match in March 2012, in a 3-0 win over Bristol City, were he dished out 7, yes 7 yellow cards.

Team News I’m not sure of, but if anyone from Wigan did get injured whilst playing against Huddersfield, they do need to stretch before they play a game of football.  Other than waiting for Ben Watson, believe Uwe has a full strength squad.  As for Ipswich, I couldn’t get Mick on the phone, so we’ll just have to see, but I reckon he’ll give Tyrone Mings another run out.

Bookies for the game through ‘Kickoff‘, have a surprising 42% believing Wigan will win, 31% for Ipswich and the remaining 27% believing the match will end in a draw.

As for the game, I do hope Wigan start playing this season, as Owen Coyle lost his job at Wigan this time last season, and he has more points (11) in his first 7 games.

Come on Wigan.


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