Match Preview: Wigan Athletic vs Nottingham Forest

Laurence Griffiths

The third straight home game of the season and you would have expected by now two wins and the team to be flying into one of the hardest games of the early season. Yet with only two draws, Wigan go into the game against the early season pace setters low in confidence and form.

Once all the shuffling of fixtures was over it came apparent we would have three home games on the trot and that could only help the team to settle into the League and hopefully get a few wins together. It also meant that we would only face one of the harder teams in the league towards the end of the first month of the season.

Make no mistakes it is not by accident that Nottingham Forest are unbeaten this season, they have a vastly talented squad. Combine that with the leadership of Billy Davies and you have a real mix which leads towards a team being a real title contender for the Championship.

A squad forged with Premier League and Championship experience, with the added qualities of flair and workman like ethic. Nottingham Forest are the sort of team that we all here at Latics really wanted to see turn up and play for us this season. So far that hasn't happened, hopefully given time it will do.

Its not just one threat that Nottingham pose. They are very much a three dimensional team, with players in the midfield both centrally (Henri Lansbury) on the wings (Andy Reid) and up front (Matt Derbyshire) all scoring goals and bouncing off each other in a very free flowing style.

That is also not to say that they aren't good defensibly. So far they have only conceded one goal and that was a superb effort by Lewis McGugan as he secured a point for Watford against Nottigham Forest last weekend.

The signs are going into the game on Saturday that Wigan will be struggling at both ends of the pitch. The hope going into the game is that Shaun Maloney will return and that Owen Coyle has seen sense and will play the midfielder duo of Roger Espionza and Jordi Gomez both of whom impressed against Middlesbrough in the second half on Sunday.

Maybe though that is half our problem. There is no set best XI yet, nor do we have all our defensive options back to play our strongest defensive system; upon the return of Ivan Ramis and Gary Caldwell I would expect an improved performance from our defense.

All clues point towards this game coming too soon and too close fro comfort. We could quite easily lose this one; yet I hope the lads are learning and will now be ready to step up to the plate and achieve their second win of the season and their first home win.

You can always believe.

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