MX23RW : Thursday, June 17 21:17:23| >> :600:1834815:1834815:
Mar 27, 2021 at 3pm UK at The DW Stadium
WiganWigan Athletic
0-0
IpswichIpswich Town

Aasgaard (14'), Darikwa (64'), Lang (69')
FT

Woolfenden (68'), Chambers (87')

Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Ipswich Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wigan Athletic take on Ipswich Town in League One on Saturday, with both sides desperate to claim a victory.

Both teams are currently two points adrift of their main objectives for the season: in Wigan's case, that means surviving relegation, and for Ipswich that entails finishing within the playoff positions.


Match preview

A general shot of Wigan Athletic's DW Stadium take on July 1, 2020© Reuters

It has certainly been a tumultuous time for Wigan both on and off the pitch in recent seasons, with financial difficulties condemning them to relegation to League One last season, despite Paul Cook guiding them to 13th in the table prior to the 12-point deduction they received for entering administration.

Indeed, since spectacularly winning the FA Cup while being relegated from the Premier League in the same season in 2012-13, Wigan have already bounced straight back from League One to the Championship on two separate occasions.

However, given the turmoil at the club and turnover in playing staff, that never looked a likely proposition this time around, with the Latics now instead faced with the prospect of competing in the fourth tier of English football for the first time in 25 seasons.

After losing Cook's successor John Sheridan to relegation rivals Swindon Town in November, Leam Richardson has been entrusted with the interim managerial role ever since.

After gaining seven points in three matches prior to last weekend's trip to Accrington Stanley, there appeared to be signs of a revival at the club, especially after their top goalscorer Callum Lang's opener within the first minute, but they soon crashed back down to earth with a 3-1 defeat to the playoff hopefuls.

There will certainly be added motivation within the Wigan ranks on Saturday, though, with Cook having taken over as Ipswich manager at the beginning of this month.

Richardson was the 54-year-old's assistant during Cook's successful three years at the club, but any friendship will be put aside during the 90 minutes with three crucial points to fight for.

Andre Dozzell in action for Ipswich Town in January 2017© Reuters

Having replaced the unpopular Paul Lambert in the Ipswich dugout, Cook would have been hoping for a better start to his new job ahead of Saturday's trip to his former stomping ground.

Indeed, four points from five matches represents a poor return for a club chasing a playoff position, with last weekend's 2-1 defeat against rivals Portsmouth potentially damaging to the Tractor Boys' chances.

Like Wigan during their defeat to Accrington, Ipswich took a first-half lead via their top goalscorer James Norwood, who was restored to the starting XI by Cook after the striker endured a difficult relationship with Lambert.

They were pegged back by Tom Naylor's strike four minutes prior to the interval, though, before Marcus Harness's 72nd-minute winner saw Pompey leapfrog Ipswich in the table.

However, of Ipswich's next five fixtures, four of them currently lie in the relegation places in the table, so there is a real opportunity for Cook to lay down a marker at the DW Stadium on Saturday and begin to build some momentum, as the club looks to return to a level in the English football pyramid more befitting of their illustrious history and 30,000 capacity stadium.

Wigan Athletic League One form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Ipswich Town League One form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L


Team News

The players shake hands before the match between Accrington and Ipswich on October 20, 2019© Reuters

Gavin Massey and Viv Solomon-Otabor both missed last weekend's defeat to Accrington through injury, and it remains to be seen whether the pair will be fit to return for Wigan.

Jamie Proctor could return to the starting XI having only been an unused substitute in that match, with Will Keane hoping for a chance to impress against his former club.

Ipswich, meanwhile, were boosted by the return of long-term absentee Kane Vincent-Young in the defeat to Portsmouth, but Cook may ease the full-back into matters from the bench once again, given that it was the 25-year-old's first appearance since November 2019 after being plagued by Achilles, calf and knee issues.

Defender James Wilson is a strong doubt for the game, though, after having fluid drained from his knee, while Mark McGuinness and Troy Parrott will definitely miss out due to being on international duty.

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Jones; Darikwa, Wootton, Tilt, Robinson; Dodoo, Johnston, Ojo, Evans, Gardner; Lang

Ipswich Town possible starting lineup:
Holy; Chambers, Nsiala, Woolfenden, Ward; Skuse, Dozzell; Edwards, Bishop, Judge; Norwood


SM words green background

We say: Wigan Athletic 1-2 Ipswich Town

We expect a closely-fought affair between two sides in desperate need of a victory, but Cook's quality at his disposal could help him gain the edge on his former club.

A win could take Wigan out of the bottom four or Ipswich into the top six depending on results elsewhere, so there is certainly plenty to play for even without the added edge of Cook taking on his former assistant Richardson.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data


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Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook pictured on July 22, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 462781180384289
2 462691183463787
3 4623111260372380
4 462017970422877
5 4622111369501977
6 462281677562174
7 4620141270561474
8 462191665511472
9 461912154646069
10 461910176360367
11 461813156368-567
12 461812165661-566
13 461811176462265
14 46197206367-464
15 461612184946360
16 461512196173-1257
17 461315185057-754
18 461411215380-2753
19 461215195470-1651
20 46139245477-2348
21 461114216178-1747
22 461112234167-2645
23 46134295589-3443
24 46108284070-3038

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