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Match Preview: Wigan Athletic vs Walsall FC

Our home form so far is the only thing keeping us in a reasonable position at the moment. In recent weeks injuries and suspensions have not aided the teams need for continuity. So with some players returning this week, other players still remain side-lined.

Our list of unavailable players doesn’t seem to get any smaller but just changes. Jordan Flores, Jason Pearce, Haris Vuckic, Don Cowie, Craig Davies and of course Grant Holt all remain unavailable for the first team. Although both Cowie and Holt have continued to make strives to returning following games in our development side this week.

The last couple of games have seen the team take a more defensive approach, which with the number of strikers we have had out injured is understandable. You can only play with what you have got and we need to bring a team together that could pick up points. Two points from a possible six is poor reading though.

That is why today has to be a win. We need to stop the slide and close the gap on the top. We are still doing a lot better than I think should have been expected this season so far. Yet because the team has played well there has been more frustration from us as fans, which in some ways is understandable.

One team who is beating their expectations is Walsall. The team from the West Midlands have been one of the early season pace setters and sit second to Burton Albion by a point. Manager Dean Smith has got the Saddlers playing with real menace and the game today will be a tough test for everyone who plays in the Wigan team.

Tom Bradshaw is the man to watch with eight goals in all competitions to his name this season and he doesn’t look like stopping. The 23 year old signed last season for Walsall from Shrewbury Town and has then go on to break into their first team side, this year with a bit of a bang.

No injury concerns for Dean Smith, with Isaiah Osbourne in line to make his debut after signing a one year contract with the club.

This game is a big one. The tough test the Latics have faced this season and it is time for them to stand up and be counted. Will Griggs needs to start providing the goals we know he can score. Whilst our defence has got to cut out its individual errors and hopefully the return of Craig Morgan in the centre will help that.

Let’s hope for our continuing home form!