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Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Doncaster Rovers

:Headline: Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Doncaster Rovers:
Sports Mole previews the League One clash between Wigan Athletic and Doncaster Rovers.
By , Reporter | 4y

Wigan Athletic will hope to pick up their first win of the League One season when they play host to Doncaster Rovers on Sunday.

However, the Latics followed up their defeat to Coventry City by crashing out of the Capital One Cup at the hands of Bury, and face a Rovers side fresh from knocking out local rivals Leeds United in the same competition.


Wigan Athletic


Wigan were hoping that a change of manager and chairman may help put behind them a poor season, which saw them relegated to League One just over two years after winning the FA Cup.

Gary Caldwell prepared for his first full season in charge of the Latics with a 3-0 pre-season defeat at Blackburn Rovers before seeing his team lose 2-0 at Coventry on the opening day of the campaign.

On Tuesday, Wigan then let a 1-0 lead slip to lose at home to newly-promoted Bury in the League Cup.

However, Athletic's struggle for winning form stretches further back to the end of last season, where the club won only one and lost four of their final five matches.

Wigan have bolstered their squad by signing the likes of Kevin McNaughton from Cardiff City and Will Grigg, who helped MK Dons to League One promotion last year.

This week, Caldwell also signed free agent Jussi Jaaskelainen and will hope that his years of experience in the Premier League will rub off on the team.

Recent form: DLWLLL
Recent form (all competitions): LWLLLL


Doncaster Rovers

One the face of it, Doncaster's start to the season with a stalemate at Bury and drawing after 90 minutes at home to Leeds suggests an uneventful start to the season, but Vikings fans have had plenty of food for thought.

Their game with Bury was heading for a goalless draw when Harry Forrester's misjudged pass back to Christian Walton following an injury inadvertently lobbed the Shakers' keeper.

It was decided that Bury's Leon Clarke would be allowed to equalise, a decision which Bury boss David Flitcroft said upheld the "morality" of football.

The drama wasn't over for the week as Lewis Cook scored early on for Leeds in their first-round Capital One Cup tie before he was sent off seven minutes before half time.

His dismissal allowed Paul Dickov's side to edge through via a penalty shootout and beat their Yorkshire rivals.

Doncaster have struggled for outright victories in recent months. Donny's win at home to Scunthorpe United was their only win from the final six games at the Keepmoat Stadium last term.

Dickov's side finished last season better on the road, with two wins and two draws in the final half-a-dozen outings.

However, a good run of pre-season results, including a 2-0 win over Premier League Sunderland, hints at a side that may have the potential to claim a playoff place.

Recent form: WDLLWD
Recent form (all competitions): DLLWDD


Team News


Wigan could decide to leave out Everton loanee Francisco Junior after he sat out the defeat against Bury.

The attacker may miss out at the expense of Craig Davies, who has been a second-half substitute in both of the Latics' games so far.

Caldwell will also decide whether to continue with Richard O'Donnell in goal or put his faith in new signing Jaaskelainen.

Dickov may look to restore Curtis Main to the starting lineup after the forward was an extra-time substitute against Leeds.

Richard Chaplow, who sat out the game against United, could also return for the Vikings, while Nathan Tyson is also an option.

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Jaaskelainen, Kenny, Daniels, Morgan, James, Perkins, Power, Davies, McCann, Jacobs, Grigg

Doncaster Rovers possible starting lineup:
Stuckmann, McCullough, Jones, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Coppinger, Chaplow, Wellens, Forrester, Main, Williams


Head To Head

Doncaster have proved to be something of a bogey team for Wigan in recent years, with Rovers winning four of the last six encounters in all competition.

However, the Latics enjoy a reasonable record at home to the Vikings, having lost only two league game at home since the sides first met in 1978, when Wigan were elected to the Football League.

Donny's last win of any kind at the DW Stadium came when a young Marc Albrighton scored the only goal in a LDV Vans Trophy victory in November 2002.



We say: Wigan 1-1 Doncaster

The bookmakers have Wigan as favourites to register their first victory of the season, but the Latics have struggled for form over several months, while Doncaster have looked like a tough team to beat in their first two outings. We've gone for the safety of a third straight 1-1 draw for the Vikings.


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