Barnsley FC Vs Wigan Athletic
Date: 3rd August 2013
Kick Off: 15:00 BST
Referee: Geoff Eltrincham
Assistant Referees: Alan Clayton and Edward Smart
4th Official: Rob Merchant
So, the moment we have all been waiting in anticipation for: The beginning of a new chapter for our little club and the start of the Championship season.
It all seems a little odd, does it not, that last season Wigan Athletic played host to footballing giants Chelsea and this season we are travelling to Barnsley who, in recent years, have been mediocre at best. Last season, Barnsley ended in 21st place (just one place above the relegation zone) in the Championship, whilst Wigan finished in 18th place in the Premier League.
We haven't traveled to Barnsley in almost 11 years so I'm not quite sure what to expect from them. However, the last two times that we have played them we have emerged as victors. The official statistics state that when pitched head to head Barnsley have won 9 times and Wigan have won 9 times whilst we have drawn 5 times, scoring 31 goals and conceding 26.
Barnsley have spent more seasons in the second tier of English football than any other club and I expect them to stay there for at least another season but, coming in to the season on the back of a pretty good pre-season (ending with a 3-2 victory over Rotherham United), anything could happen. Their manager David Flitcroft believes it is an honour to play against the current FA Cup holders on the first day of the season and their players are hoping to prove that they can push for promotion, however, Wigan Athletic will be too strong for them, in my opinion. With a midfield like ours (with Maloney, Mcmanaman, and McCarthy) and Grant Holt leading the strike force, I can't see anything but a Wigan win. I am slightly wary, however, because, as it is our first game in the Championship for nine years, we may be shocked at the way Barnsley play.
Ex Wigan Athletic Players that have also played for Barnsley
- Arjan De Zeeuw - We all remember this Latics legend who had two spells at the club and captained the side in the 2005/06 season to 10th place in the premier league and the League Cup final.
- Andy Liddell - Another Latics legend who is still our top scorer nine years on and now happens to be a fitness coach at Ipswich Town. He played over 250 times for us and undeniably assisted us in eventually gaining promotion to the Premier League.
- Jason Scotland- Scotland may play against us on Saturday but I don't think any Wigan fans will be worried about him as a striker. In 32 appearances for the Latics he managed one meager goal which wasn't even in the league! An absolute shambles when in a Wigan Athletic Shirt.
Match Prediction: 2-0 to Wigan