Football League World
·21 August 2023
Football League World
·21 August 2023
Wigan Athletic host Barnsley at the DW Stadium this weekend as the Latics look to extend their unbeaten start to the League One campaign to five, while Barnsley look to secure their first win since their opening day hammering of Port Vale.
Shaun Maloney will be incredibly pleased with the start they’ve made to the campaign, particularly their most recent victory, a 4-0 win over early pacesetters Bolton Wanderers. This commanding victory against Ian Evatt’s side, a club looking to be in the mix for promotion come the end of the campaign, will confirm to Maloney and his squad that they are serious contenders to win promotion back to the Championship following their relegation from that division last season.
The Latics held firm to Bolton’s dominance of the ball and chances, as Wigan were clinical with the chances they created. This impressive display of solidity and taking their chances would be a worry for any side facing Wigan, but particularly one out of form.
Barnsley will look to defy the odds to secure a victory away at Wigan. Barnsley lost an exciting end-to-end game 3-1 to Oxford United over the weekend. Neill Collins will come into this fixture with Wigan looking to limit the chances, knowing the Latics will punish any mistake and be more clinical in front of goal, as this cost them against Oxford.
Wigan enter this fixture bolstered by the news that Jonny Smith, Jordan Jones, and Liam Shaw have returned to training and are pushing to feature.
However, Thelo Aasgaard isn’t expected back for around a month due to the shoulder injury he picked up in the recent draw with Carlisle.
Maloney discussed in his preview for the Barnsley match the need to build upon their derby day victory against Bolton, saying: "(Barnsley) is another test - and in every game we play, I want us to keep improving."
Collins addressed all the injury concerns as he previewed the fixture with Wigan with their media team. The recovery of Luca Connell (illness) is slow, and there have been positive signs for the long-term injury of Conor McCarthy as he played 45 minutes against Swansea U21s midweek.
There was no update on Mael de Gevigney, who left the pitch after 38 minutes following an earlier challenge with Oxford winger Marcus Browne in their 3-1 defeat.
Collins will be bolstered, however, with the signing of John McAtee on loan until the end of the season from Luton Town.
Fans will be pleased to see the excitement that McAtee has expressed while being interviewed by Barnsley’s media team. "I was buzzing to come down."
While being interviewed by Barnsley's media team, Collins addressed the need for an improvement in performance and was quoted as saying, "The biggest frustration from the last two games is, of course, the results; it's what we get judged on, but it's the fact we could have won both games. You just accept it's where we're at," with the Barnsley manager stating just how big a match it will be: "They've got some really good players. They've settled into the season well, so it's a huge test."
Wigan’s clash with Barnsley will not be broadcast on TV due to the blackout rule, which remains in place for the 2023–24 campaign. Instead, you can follow the game on local radio or via shows like Gillette Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports News, which begins at 3pm.
Highlights of the game will be made available following the completion of the match. Both clubs will post a 2-minute version on their YouTube channels, while ITV will broadcast a lengthier edition in the evening with their EFL highlights programme.
Tickets for Wigan are still available and can be found on their official website. The club will be confident that their unbeaten start to the season will continue, with Maloney looking to pack out the stadium as they maintain their assault on promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
There are still tickets available for Barnsley as they travel to the DW Stadium, and they can be found here. However, away supporters that have yet to buy tickets for the fixture will have to arrange their own transport to Wigan, as seats on the coaches organised by the club have been sold out.
The game between Wigan and Barnsley will kick off at 3pm on Saturday, August 25th.