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Match Previews

Preview: Wigan At Home!

18 November 2016

All the pre-match information about the Reds fixture against the Latics!

Barnsley v Wigan Athletic 

Barnsley will be targeting a first home win in six games when they welcome Wigan to Oakwell.

Since the Tykes’ 4-0 triumph against Rotherham in late August, they have lost three and drawn twice in front of their home faithful including a 2-2 draw against Bristol City three weeks ago.

Despite that, Paul Heckingbottom’s men remain just five points outside the top six and following an away win at Brentford and a goalless draw at Burton before the international break, the Reds are now unbeaten in their last three games.

Wigan meanwhile, arrive in South Yorkshire with a new manager following the appointment of Warren Joyce as Gary Caldwell’s successor.

The former Manchester United U23s manager did not enjoy the best of starts with his new Club however as Latics went down 3-0 at home to Reading a fortnight ago; leaving them in the relegation zone.

That loss also made it two defeats on the bounce at the DW Stadium but away from home it has been a different story for the Lancashire outfit, with two draws and a victory in their last three on the road.

Joyce will be looking for more of the same at Oakwell as last season’s League One champions try to move out of the bottom three.

Previous Meetings

The Reds will be looking for a first Oakwell success against Wigan in almost 62 years when kick-off arrives.

Following Barnsley’s 3-2 win at Oakwell all the way back in November 1954, the sides shared a goalless draw in October 1978 but since then Wigan have won all four of the meetings between the Club’s in South Yorkshire.

The most recent of those victories came last season when goals from Andy Kellett and Yanic Wildschut secured a fourth straight win for Wigan at Oakwell.

Despite that, Barnsley did taste victory twice at the DW Stadium last term, with a penalty shoot-out success in December during the successful JPT Trophy run and a 4-1 League One triumph in May which helped the Tykes secure a Play-Off spot.

That was the 12th competitive meeting between the sides and with Barnsley only winning four of them, compared to Wigan’s six, they will look to close that gap.

Team News

Josh Scowen and Adam Hammill will be eager to earn recalls to the Barnsley starting XI this weekend.

Both players were introduced off the bench against Burton Albion two weeks ago but they will be hoping they’ve done enough to start from the off against Wigan.

Elsewhere, Saidy Janko is back in contention after playing and scoring for the U23s side during the international break, but the game could come too soon for full-back Aidy White who has been out with a sustained gluteal problem.

For visitors Wigan, Nick Powell is close to a return after struggling with a hamstring injury of late.

Late checks will have to be made on a whole list of players however including Donervon Daniels (knee), Reece James (foot) and Alex Gilbey (ankle).

One man who is fit is last season’s top goal scorer Will Grigg but he will be chomping at the bit for a starting berth after being named on the bench for his side’s last game against Reading.

Man in the Middle

Jeremy Simpson will take charge of a Barnsley game for the fifth time on Saturday afternoon.

The Lancashire-based official was last in charge of the Tykes in August 2015 when he watched over their 1-0 home League One success against Burton Albion.

That was the second of two wins which the Club have experienced in his company; also losing once and drawing once.

Visitors Wigan however have met with Simpson on just one previous occasion. That came earlier this season when the Lancastrian ran the rule over Latics’ 1-1 draw against Birmingham at the DW Stadium.

The referee dished out three yellow cards in that game but in total so far this term he has brandished 74 yellows and just the one red, which was received by Burton’s Tom Flanagan back in September.

Their Star Man

He may be in just his second season with the Club but Will Grigg has already hit 34 goals for Wigan Athletic.

The Northern Ireland international joined Latics from Brentford in July 2015 following a successful loan spell with the MK Dons, for whom he netted 22 times during the 2014-15 campaign.

Eight goals in his first 22 appearances for Wigan replicated a good but unspectacular start to life at the DW Stadium but what happened from January onwards made Grigg one of the most talked about and sung about players in the country.

That is because in his next 22 games, the 25-year-old struck 20 times including a hat-trick against Port Vale, as well as braces against Bury, Swindon, Shrewsbury and Southend.

That form saw the Solihull-born forward called up to Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 squad but despite not playing a minute in France, he has continued his good form into this season; bagging six goals so far.

With all but one of them having been scored in the Championship, Grigg is proving he is comfortable at this level and after finding the back of the net three times against the Reds last season, the Barnsley defence will be prepared for a tough afternoon.

Mutual Man

Following loan spells with both Altrincham and Tranmere from his boyhood Club Stoke City, Ryan Shotton penned the third loan move of his career in September 2009 when he joined the Tykes.

At the age of 20, he arrived at Oakwell with the target of more first-team football and that is what he got. After making his debut in a 5-2 defeat at QPR, he went onto make another 30 appearances for the Club.

Most importantly however, was that Shotton started all 31 of his games with the Reds, in which he helped them keep eight clean sheets, as Barnsley finished the season in 18th place.

With that campaign of regular football under his belt, Shotton made four appearances for Stoke in the 2010-11 season which included his first outings in the Premier League.

Those games would prove to be the catalyst for the former Barnsley loanee, as he became a regular for the Potters over the next two campaigns; appearing 63 times as Stoke continued to grow as a Club.

Unfortunately for the versatile defender that growth would prove detrimental to his career at Stoke, with new signings pushing him down the pecking order at the Bet365 Stadium which resulted in another loan move, this time to Wigan.

On his Latics debut, Shotton helped his new side keep a clean sheet in an away tie at Waregem in the Europa League, before scoring on his home bow against Ipswich.

In total, the 28-year-old appeared 14 times for the Lancashire Club and after returning to Stoke, he made yet another loan move; joining Derby in August 2014.

That switch soon turned into a permanent one but following a temporary stay with Birmingham during the second half of last season, he joined the Blues on a three-year contract in June.

Form Guide

Barnsley’s last five at home: (LDLLD)

Barnsley 1-2 Reading (17/09/2016)

Barnsley 1-1 Aston Villa (27/09/2016)

Barnsley 2-4 Fulham (15/10/2016)

Barnsley 0-2 Newcastle United (18/10/2016)

Barnsley 2-2 Bristol City (29/10/2016)

Wigan’s last five on the road: (LLDDW)

Norwich City 2-1 Wigan Athletic (13/09/2016)

Preston North End 1-0 Wigan Athletic (23/09/2016)

Brentford 0-0 Wigan Athletic (01/10/2016)

Leeds United 1-1 Wigan Athletic (18/10/2016)

Cardiff City 0-1 Wigan Athletic (29/10/2016)

Tickets are still available for the next two matches at Oakwell against Wigan and Nottingham Forest! CLICK HERE to buy yours now!


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