PREVIEW | Wigan -v- Wednesday

PREVIEW | Wigan -v- Wednesday

The new season is finally upon us.

After a glorious World Cup campaign for England, many are thrilled to be back to club football after a long hot summer.

Maybe not Wednesday fans.

A lack of signings never breeds much positivity, adding in the fact we’ve had a few outgoings and the calamity at Mansfield, many have been left less than optimistic.

Fine by me, I’m happy to go into the season as a potential surprise package.

First up is a tricky away trip to Wigan, against a team who’ve just won League One again to maintain their yo-yo status.

 

Owls Team News

Wednesday are without a few players as always.

Kieran Lee and Gary Hooper are both still a few weeks off full fitness, whilst Almen Abdi has also picked up a knock in pre-season.

That said many of those who missed long spells last year seem raring to go.

Lees, Bannan and Forestieri are all fit to play, and you sense keeping this spine healthy will be the key to having a relatively successful season.

Luhukay says Saturday will unveil the first choice keeper and the skipper for the new season, which could bring a surprise or two.

Alternatively, it could be exactly the two players we expect.

Potential skipper?

The Opponent’s Camp

Wigan’s saunter to the League One title was almost identical to their campaign two years ago.

Last time they didn’t strengthen enough for survival, and I think many Wigan fans are worried the same will be true again.

The Latics seem to be the latest club to be held back by the ongoing discussions of a potential takeover.

Owls favourite Ross Wallace seemed certain to sign for them on a free transfer but that now appears to have fallen through, as did a move for the much-needed James Perch.

Wigan fans seem worried about their cover across the back, so to see Perch go to Scunthorpe must be odd.

Ordinarily a promoted side is one of the scariest opponents – especially on their own turf – but maybe Wednesday could get lucky if the home team’s minds are elsewhere.

Back in stripes!

Last 5 Games

Not a lot to say here. I could put pre-season scores in here, but I don’t think you can take much heed from the results.

Both teams were well beaten in their final games before this weekend’s curtain-raiser, so maybe both go in feeling the same way.

Head to Head

Wednesday wins: 5

Draws: 0

Wigan wins: 3

The Owls have come out on top in the last 4 encounters, since November 2014.

Not a huge tally of fixtures between the two sides.

Much needed steel

Predicted Lineup

Wednesday will probably go with Luhukay’s preferred 5-3-2 formation.

I’m certain on about 8 of the players, but the rest are slight guesses.

I’ll let you work out which ones.

GK: Keiren Westwood

RWB: Liam Palmer

CB: Tom Lees

CB: Joost Van Aken

CB: Daniel Pudil

LWB: Adam Reach

CDM: Joey Pelupessy

CM: Sam Hutchinson

CM: Barry Bannan

ST: Atdhe Nuhiu

ST: Fernando Forestieri

The main man

Matt’s Prediction – Goalfest

Both teams seem confident about their strikers and not so sure about their defence, so a high scoring game seems likely.

I still expect it to be pretty close.

I think Wednesday will edge it all game and be punished by a last gasp equaliser, just to make it all the more painful.

A horrible 3-3.

 

Matt

Owls Alive

Email: owlsalive@gmail.com

Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @MattRFez

Images: swfc.co.uk unless stated otherwise


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