On Tuesday promotion hopefuls Wigan host 17th placed Northampton Town at The DW Stadium as the home side look to carry on their good start to the season.
Wigan finished 23rd in the Championship last season and were relegated back to League One. However, since relegation, the Latics have brought in former Portsmouth boss Paul Cook, and Cook has brought in twelve new players to the DW. Wigan have endured a decent start to the season with The Tics winning five of their seven league games. The clubs only loss in the league has come against an unbeaten Shrewsbury side who narrowly beat Wigan 1-0.
While Northampton have endured a rollercoaster start to the season. Justin Edinburgh was appointed manager in January and kept the Cobblers up last season. However, he was sacked on Deadline Day after Northampton lost their opening four games. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has since come in and steadied the ship. He is so far unbeaten since taking charge.
Both teams come into this game high on confidence. Wigan have won their last two games 3-0 against Charlton and Bristol Rovers respectively. They currently sit fifth in League One, and a win could see them move up as far as second.
While Northampton are unbeaten in their last three. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has guided his side to two wins against Doncaster and Portsmouth and a respectable 2-2 draw away at Southend. Since coming in the former Chelsea striker has taken Northampton from 23rd position to 17th and with the Cobblers finally playing with confidence, they will have every chance of taking something from the game.
Last time these two met was in April 2003 where Wigan ran out 2-0 winners. Wigan won the league that season while Northampton Town finished bottom of Divison Two. Northampton’s most recent win against Wigan came in 2001 where they emerged 1-0 winners.
Head to Head
Despite not playing each other since 2003 the two sides have faced each other on 33 occasions. Wigan have won 16 of the 33 games while Northampton have been victorious on five occasions against Wigan. There have been twelve draws between the two sides.
The Latics will be without former Oxford defender Cheyenne Dunkley who is serving the last match of his three-game ban. On loan keeper, Christian Walton is also out with an ankle injury. Nick Powell was forced off with an injury against Bristol Rovers, but it’s not yet known whether he’ll be fit to play against Northampton.
The Cobblers will be without John-Joe O’Toole, Sam Hoskins and Aaron Phillips who are long-term absentees. While Shaun McWilliams and George Smith are both out with injuries as well. Key man Matt Crooks is also suspended for the game.
Bet365 are offering 4/7 for a Wigan win while Paddy Power are offering 8/15 for a home win. The former offer 5/1 for a Northampton win while the latter offers 9/2 for an away win. They both offer 11/4 for a draw. (As of Sunday 17th September 2017.)
Here’s a Wigan fans view on their start to the season and his prediction for the game:
I think most Wigan fans would have taken this start to the season. We have only lost one game, and we look very dangerous going forward. Nick Powell has started off very well this season as has Jacobs. It was also pleasing to see Will Grigg get on the scoresheet against Bristol Rovers as well. While Northampton will be difficult to beat I still think we’ll get the job done. My score prediction is Wigan 2-0 Northampton.
This is Northampton fan George Hamlyn’s view on their start to the season and his prediction for the game on Tuesday:
This season so far has been mixed, after a dreadful start we lost our first four matches playing a formation which didn’t work. As a fan, I was happy when Edinburgh was sacked as he never really connected to the fans in the same way that former managers like Wilder have. Hasselbaink was the man I wanted, and I was delighted when he was appointed. He has had an instant connection with the fans with his positive speaking, and upbeat attitude.
Since his appointment, we have won two games and drawn once, and performances have improved. The major improvement he has made is with attitude and commitment from the players. Despite the recent run, I feel like Wigan may be a test too far with their quality, and he will have first-team players such as Shaun McWilliams out injured, and Matt Crooks’ suspension will hit us hard, following his three goals in his last three games. I’m looking forward to seeing former Northampton players Michael Jacobs and Ivan Toney, even though recent record suggests they’ll score! My prediction is 2-1 to Wigan
Both teams come into this game high on confidence. Wigan look very strong and will definitely be up there come the end of the season, but Northampton look like a different team under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. However, I think Wigan will prove too much for Northampton. Wigan 3-1 Northampton.