A nightmare 2020 saw Wigan Athletic enter administration and suffer relegation to League One, but over 12 months on from that and we are definitely seeing the best of the Latics right now.
After 15 matches of the 2021-22 campaign, Leam Richardson’s side sit second in the League One table after beating the drop last season, cementing their place as a current top two side with a 2-0 victory over Burton Albion at the weekend.
Following a loss last week to Lincoln City, Richardson provided a system switch from the 4-2-3-1 that has been used for the majority of the season to more of a 3-5-2, utilising wing-backs just like their opposition on Saturday did.
Matching the Brewers up paid off as goals from James McClean and Curtis Tilt secured the three points at the DW Stadium, but attention must now turn to Highbury.
Quiz: Do you know what club these 28 ex-Wigan Athletic players are playing at now?
That’s because the Latics make the short journey to the Fylde coast to face Fleetwood Town tomorrow evening – let’s take a look at how they may line-up against the Cod Army.
With no reported injuries or knocks coming out of the game against Albion, why change a winning system?
Like Burton, Fleetwood will also play with a 3-5-2 unless Simon Grayson is planning on throwing a curveball, and ex-Latic Anthony Pilkington is likely to feature as well.
One thing the Cod Army know how to do is find the back of the net – despite being in the bottom four in the division they have scored 24 times in 14 matches which is some going.
That means Wigan’s defence is going to have to be on top form to keep Fleetwood at bay, but with three quality centre-backs on the pitch it should make their task a bit easier.
James McClean has been one of the more important players this season since his return, and he’s regularly featured on the left flank but he played at wing-back against Burton – it didn’t curb his scoring threat though as he opened the scoring on Saturday.
Due to the formation change at the weekend it meant that Richardson had three wingers on the bench in Gavin Massey, Gwion Edwards and Jordan Jones and it doesn’t look as though they will be able to get in here, and then you have to add Callum Lang and Tom Naylor into the mix.
Lang was suspended for the Burton match and Naylor could be passed fit after injury – both will be good options off the bench though if things aren’t going to plan for Wigan.