In the final game before the latest international break, I didn’t miss these in League 1, we travel the short distance up the M6 to face Preston North End at Deepdale.
The prospect of a ding-dong Lancashire derby really has whet the appetite and close on 4,000 Wiganers are making the trip to cheer the Latics on to what they hope will be their second away win of the campaign.
Whilst we sit a comfortable 9th, level on 17 points with 6th placed Brentford, Preston are floundering at the foot of the table 6 points and a -10 goal difference, not the start that the Lillywhites were envisaging.
Recent weeks have seen Paul Cook tighten up the defences with just one goal conceded in the last three games - that was a hotly disputed 84th minute penalty away at Norwich – the gung ho approach of the first few games appears to have settled down, though I do suspect that Saturday’s game will be a very open affair.
With Preston desperate for points and the Latics smelling blood we should hopefully see a full bloodied game with a cup tie feel about it, a great atmosphere awaits and this is a game that all Latics fans are looking forward to.
Up the tics!
Gavin Massey is still a long way off with his hamstring injury but Dan Burn, Sam Morsy, James Vaughan and Will Grigg are now all declared fully fit and raring to go creating somewhat of a welcome headache for manager Paul Cook.
I can see both Grigg and Morsy coming into the starting XI whilst Vaughan and Burn will probably have to make do with a place on the bench.
James, Kipre, Dunkley, Robinson
Windass, Powell, Jacobs
Man To Watch
Nick Powell will surely be up for this one, and no doubt up to his sh*thousing best, should be a great battle between himself and the Preston defensive midfield line.
Preston North End
Josh Harrop, Billy Bodin, Callum Woods and Sean Maguire are all missing with injury and Darnell Fisher is likely to have a late fitness test but is a doubt.
Brandon Barker is likely to return following a bout of illness that he’s now recovered from.
Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Hughes
Browne, Robinson, Barker
Man To Watch
Ben Pearson former Manchester United youngster and will be well known to Nick Powell, tough tackling and highly rated, should be a great duel with both Powell and Pearson on Saturday, there could be cards!
Latics and Preston have met 45 times down the years.
Latics 14 wins, Preston 17, draws 14.
Meet The Ref
Lee Probert (Wilts) take a look at our Meet The Ref article by clicking here
I predict a high scoring game each week, mostly tongue in cheek, but I do feel that this will be one of those that will see quite a few goals, possibly a red card or two also, I’m going for a 2-3 away win for the Latics.
Latics v West Brom