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Match Previews

WIGAN VS. WALSALL: MATCH PREVIEW

2 October 2015

The Saddlers face Wigan tomorrow afternoon...

WIGAN VS. WALSALL
DW Stadium
Saturday, 3rd October 2015 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One

OVERVIEW:
Walsall are targeting back-to-back away wins following a gritty 1-0 success at Scunthorpe on Tuesday evening. The Saddlers, who will go top if they win and Burton slip-up against Southend, have not played Wigan in over 11 years. The ninth-placed Latics were relegated from the Championship last season but are expected to challenge for promotion this term. Gary Caldwell’s side remain unbeaten at home, while Walsall have yet to lose away.

LEAGUE STANDINGS:
Wigan:
9th – W4 D3 L3 F14 A13 PTS15
Walsall: 2nd – W6 D3 L1 F16 A6 PTS21

LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
Wigan: DDWLW
Walsall: WDDWL

LAST TIME OUT:
Tuesday, 29th September – Wigan 2-2 Millwall

Will Grigg’s stoppage-time equaliser preserved the Latics’ unbeaten home record. Michael Jacobs scored Wigan’s opener, while Fred Onyedinma and Mark Beevers netted for the visitors.
Team: O’Donnell, Daniels, Barnett, McCann, James (Odelusi 85’), Perkins, Power (Grigg 77’), Murray (Francisco Junior 45’), Chow, Jacobs, Hiwula-Mayifuila.

Tuesday, 29th September – Scunthorpe 0-1 Walsall
Rico Henry’s first-half strike gave Walsall victory at struggling Scunthorpe in Dean Smith’s 250th match in charge of the Saddlers.
Team: Etheridge, Demetriou, Taylor, O’Connor, Downing, Chambers ©, Mantom, Bradshaw, Sawyers, Henry, Cook (Flanagan 75’).

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD:
Wigan wins: 13
Walsall wins: 11
Draws: 6

LAST MEETING:
Saturday, 28th February 2004 – Wigan 1-0 Walsall

Nathan Ellington scored the only goal as relegation-threatened Walsall slipped to a narrow defeat at play-off hopefuls Wigan.

WIGAN MANAGER:
Gary Caldwell
– A 55-time Scotland international, the retired centre-back was appointed Wigan manager on 7th April 2015. The 33-year-old, who played for Hibernian, Celtic and Coventry, was unable to save the Latics from relegation last season. Caldwell spent five years as a player at Wigan, making over 100 appearances.

WIGAN STAR MAN:
Will Grigg
– The former Saddlers striker joined Wigan from Brentford for £900,000 in the summer. The 24-year-old, who spent five years at the Banks’s, scored 20 goals on loan at MK Dons as they won promotion from League One last season. Grigg also achieved promotion with Brentford in 2013/14, and has netted three goals this term – including the Latics’ last-gasp equaliser against Millwall on Tuesday.

VIEW FROM THE WIGAN CAMP:
Richard O’Donnell (on playing his former club)
– “I had two good years at Walsall. I really enjoyed my football there and it’s a club I’ve got a lot of respect for. I gave my all for the club and hopefully I’ll get a decent reception from their fans.” Via wiganlatics.co.uk

TEAM NEWS:
Wigan:
Jason Pearce, Craig Davies and Haris Vuckic are injured. Don Cowie and Grant Holt are doubts.
Walsall: Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is out. No other injury concerns.

REFEREE:
Andy Haines (from Tyne & Wear)

STAT OF THE DAY:
The Saddlers are one of five clubs with an unbeaten away record in League One this season.

THIS AFTERNOON’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES: (3.00pm unless stated)
Blackpool vs. Swindon
Burton vs. Southend
Colchester vs. Bury
Coventry vs. Shrewsbury
Crewe vs. Chesterfield
Doncaster vs. Barnsley
Gillingham vs. Oldham
Peterborough vs. Millwall
Port Vale vs. Sheff Utd
Rochdale vs. Bradford
Scunthorpe vs. Fleetwood

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