Barnsley will be hunting for a third win in six games when they travel to Wigan for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy semi-final on Saturday afternoon.
Victories against York – in the quarter-finals – and then Oldham in the league last month have improved spirits at Oakwell following the Club’s six-match losing streak in all competitions.
Last weekend’s last gasp equaliser against South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United will also have breathed some confidence into Lee Johnson’s side despite them sitting bottom of the League One table.
The Football League Trophy has proved to be a positive distraction for the Reds however, with wins against Scunthorpe, Bradford and York so far in the competition this season; two of which have come on the road.
Wigan meanwhile sit fifth in League One after losing just two of their last 16 matches which has included eight wins and six draws.
Despite that strong position, Latics are without a win in their last two games following their 1-0 home defeat against Burton Albion and their goalless draw at Southend last Saturday.
Gary Caldwell’s outfit did win three matches in a row before that mini dip however; one of which saw them defeat Lancashire rivals Blackpool 4-0 at the DW Stadium to reach Saturday’s semi-final.
Top goal scorer Will Grigg did not find the back of the net in the game but having scored six times already this term for a Wigan side which has won seven of their last 11 matches on home turf, the Barnsley defence will have to keep an eye on the former Brentford man come Saturday afternoon.
Barnsley will be looking to end their five-match losing streak against Wigan when they travel to the DW Stadium on Saturday.
The run – which began all the way back in 1990 – has seen Latics win the last three meetings at Oakwell, as well as the last two in Lancashire.
The most recent of those triumphs came in February 2014 when goals from Nicky Maynard and Martyn Waghorn secured all three points for Wigan in the Championship.
Earlier in the 2013-14 season and Latics would enjoy an even greater victory, with strikes from Ben Watson, Grant Holt, Leon Barnett and Shaun Maloney earning the Club a fourth success against the Reds, who also had Dale Jennings sent off.
It was another miserable afternoon for Barnsley against their Lancashire counterparts and you have to go all the way back to August 1990 for the Club’s last win in this fixture, when they picked up a narrow 1-0 victory at the DW Stadium.
Head coach Lee Johnson will be without defender Kevin Long once again as he serves the second match of his three-game ban.
The on-loan Burnley defender was shown a straight red card in the Club’s 3-2 defeat at Peterborough in late November.
That means Lewin Nyatanga is likely to continue alongside Alfie Mawson in central defence, while Johnson will have to decide whether to stick with Reece Wabara and Aidy White in the full-back positions or to recall James Bree and George Smith.
In midfield, Ryan Williams may earn a start after returning from injury as a 71st minute substitute against Sheffield United last weekend, while in attack Ivan Toney will be eager for a recall after Sam Winnall replaced the Newcastle United man for the 1-1 draw against the Blades.
Hosts Wigan meanwhile, could hand a starting berth to Michael Jacobs after the 24-year-old winger returned from a knee injury against Southend a week ago.
David Perkins and former Tyke Craig Davies will also be hoping to be involved at the DW Stadium but defender Kevin McNaughton remains a long-term absentee with a knee problem.
Man in the Middle
Hertfordshire-based referee Keith Hill will take charge of Barnsley for an eighth time on Saturday. The official has not been a positive appointment for the Reds in the past however, with the Club losing four, drawing one and winning just two in his company. The most recent of those meetings came last season but despite beating Chester 3-0 in an FA Cup replay back in December 2014, the Reds suffered their fourth loss in Hill’s control when they went down to a 3-1 defeat at Colchester in April.
Wigan have also failed to boast much luck when Hill has been in charge; losing two and winning only one. That triumph – which came 12 days after the referee ran the rule over Barnsley’s reverse at Colchester - saw Latics pick up a narrow 2-1 success against Brighton at the DW Stadium.
Despite not taking charge of either Wigan or Barnsley so far this term, Hill – who will be assisted by linesmen Jonathan Hunt and Paul Marsden on Saturday – has been in control of 18 matches so far this season, dishing out 73 yellow cards and four reds. The most recent of those dismissals came just last weekend when the official gave Nottingham Forest defender Jack Hobbs his marching orders in their 3-1 home win against Reading.
Wigan’s last five at home: (WWWWL)
Wigan Athletic 5-0 Colchester United
Wigan Athletic 1-0 Swindon Town
Wigan Athletic 4-0 Blackpool (JPT)
Wigan Athletic 1-0 Shrewsbury Town
Wigan Athletic 0-1 Burton Albion
Barnsley’s last five away from home: (LLLWL)
Scunthorpe United 2-0 Barnsley
Coventry City 4-3 Barnsley
Altrincham 1-0 Barnsley (FA Cup)
Oldham Athletic 1-2 Barnsley
Peterborough United 3-2 Barnsley
Going to the match?
Wigan Athletic plays at the DW Stadium, its address is as follows:
How to get there
From the North: Exit M6 at Junction 27 and turn left at end of slip road. Turn right at T-junction, sign-posted Shevington. After 1 mile turn left into Old Lane (signed B5375 Standish Lower-Ground). The road winds through countryside for approx. 2 miles. At traffic lights turn right into Scot Lane. Take the first left turn into Stadium Way for the entrance to the Stadium Car Parks or second left for the main entrance.
From South and West: Exit M6 at Junction 25. At end of slip road (approx. 1 mile) turn left, sign-posted Wigan A49. Continue past Sainsbury's and cross the roundabout, 2nd exit. Follow signs for Wigan A49 for 1.2 miles to saddle roundabout. At the Saddle roundabout, take first exit sign-posted Standish A49 into Robin Park Road, driving past the ASDA superstore. Follow signs for DW Stadium.
From the West (Alternative route): Exit M6 J26 (M58/M6 Interchange). Exit the motorway by following the signs for Wigan/Orrell/Upholland. At the end of slip road, turn right. Continue on this road to the Saddle Junction (approx 2.5 miles). At the saddle roundabout, take first exit and drive past the Asda Superstore. Follow signs for DW Stadium.
From the East: Exit M61 at Junction 6 (sign-posted Chorley, Horwich A6027) and take first exit at roundabout. NB: do not exit at Junction 5 which is sign-posted Wigan. At next roundabout, take first left (sign-posted Westhoughton A6, Wigan B5238) into Chorley Road. After 0.3 miles, turn right (sign-posted Wigan B5238). After 1.8 miles, turn left at Aspull Roundabout (sign-posted Wigan B5238). After 2.2 miles, just after Earl of Balcarres pub, turn right at traffic lights. Proceed down the hill turning left at next lights with Quality Hotel on corner. Follow ring road and get into second lane from right as road bears right into Caroline Street, sign-posted Orrell. Continue on ring road following road as it bears left passing the "Go Outdoors" shop on the left hand side again sign-posted for Orrell. Pass Wigan Pier on right and as the road goes under the railway bridge get into right hand lane to turn right into Robin Park Road Sign-posted for Robin Park. Follow signs for DW Stadium. (Visiting Directors & Match Officials only, take second right into Anjou Boulevard for main entrance).
The DW Stadium has 2000 car parking spaces located around the stadium. Please refrain from using the Robin Retail Park, cinema, Asda and B+Q car parks as these are not official car parks. Supporters who use these car parks are at risk of being clamped and fined.
Wigan is served by two railway stations (almost opposite each other on Wallgate in Wigan), Wigan Northern Western and Wigan Wallgate.
Wigan North Western is on the West coast main line with links to Liverpool while Wigan Wallgate is used for regional services to Manchester, Southport and Liverpool (via Kirkby).
Taxis are available from outside Wigan North Western station which approximate 1.4 miles away from the DW Stadium. A taxi to the DW Stadium should cost approximately £5 from Wigan North Western station.
Tickets are priced as follows:
Under 18 £1
The Official Club coaches will departs Oakwell at 11.30am on the day of the game and is priced at £16 per seat.
Tickets will remain on sale through the Box Office/Reds Superstore until 4pm on Friday 4th December, subject to availability.