Wigan Athletic vs Leeds United preview: Both managers looking for their second win of the Championship season
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is greeted by Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook before the match during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at DW Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Wigan Athletic vs Leeds United preview: Both managers looking for their second win of the Championship season

Leeds United travel to the DW Stadium hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the new campaign, whilst the hosts look to end their run of two straight defeats.

adam-thomason
Adam Thomason

Wigan Athletic will be hoping for a repeat of their most recent result against Leeds United in April when the two sides face each other once more on Saturday.

It was a 2-1 win for Paul Cook's men that day, although they are coming in to this game on the back of two straight defeats.

They were thrashed 3-0 by Preston North End in their second game of the Championship season before losing 1-0 to Stoke City in the Carabao Cup.

As for Marcelo Bielsa's team, they will be hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the new campaign, after they picked up a 3-0 victory over Salford City and have four points from their opening two league games.

Team news

The Leeds boss has plenty of options going into this game, although he is still without the duo of Luke Ayling and Tyler Roberts who are not expected back any time soon.

Ayling had ankle surgery last month whereas Roberts picked up a knee injury at the end of last season following the play-off defeat to Derby County.

"Week by week they are evaluating this process", Bielsa said.

"Roberts will probably be ready before Ayling. I cannot confirm the date. We are talking about players who are not coming back soon."

As for Wigan, their manager revealed that he expects Danny Fox, who missed the Carabao Cup defeat against Stoke, to be back for this game.

It remains to be seen if Joe Garner will be fit for this one as he also missed out during midweek through a rib injury, whilst Joe Gelhardt will be unavailable for the game on Saturday due to a hamstring injury.

Bielsa on the build up to the Wigan test

The Leeds head coach spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s  Championship clash with Wigan.

“I cannot say the team before the game as a supporter said I was giving away a lot to the opposition, but between you and me it is going to be the same team.

“That we are growing as a team is something we have to show."

The Argentine also reflected on the three games his side have played thus far in the new season.

“In the two games that we won, we scored six goals and received 16 chances on goal."

He admitted that the focus ahead of this game has been on the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest last weekend.

“In the game we created five times more than the opponent, we didn’t win the game.  

“The analysis is focused on the game that we drew, the other two games were positive matches", he added.

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Cook is happy with his squad despite shaky start

Wigan have had an average start to the season, with a surprise opening day win against newly relegated Cardiff City followed by defeats to Preston and Stoke.

Ahead of the game this weekend he has emphasised how much his squad has improved since the end of the transfer window.

“We’re very pleased with what we did in the window,” the Latics boss said.

“If you look at where we were with the Burnley pre-season game a fortnight ago, to where we are now, it’s night and day."

Cook believes that the depth that he now has in his squad should allow his side to improve on last season's 18th place finish.

“There were so many times last winter when we were picking the same team again after losing, because the numbers just weren’t there.

“This league is tough and if you want success, you have to find your own formula. For us, having a stronger squad depth was massively important.”

Predicted line-ups

Wigan: Marshall, Byrne, Fox, Kipre, Robinson, MacLeod, Evans, Lowe, Windass, Jacobs, Moore

Leeds: Casilla, Dallas, White, Cooper, Douglas, Phillips, Hernandez, Forshaw, Klich, Harrison, Bamford

The game kicks-off on Saturday at the DW Stadium, with kick-off at 3PM BST.

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