Wigan Athletic kick-off their 2019/20 Championship campaign on Saturday against Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City.
Dan, from The Football Manc Cave, looks at how Paul Cook’s side might line-up at the weekend.
Latics have completed the signings of Dujon Sterling, Joe Williams and Jamal Lowe, however, it may be worth integrating them into the squad for a week, before they play.
David Marshall will be given the number one shirt and make his Latics debut, without a doubt. Poor Nathan Byrne has another huge battle on his hands to keep his starting right-back spot, last season the challenger was Reece James, now Sterling has the job. Danny Fox will marshal the defence, alongside Chey Dunkley or Cedric Kipre – personally, I prefer Kipre, better on the ball and also a better defender. While new signing Antonee Robinson will slot in his regular left-back role.
Captain Sam Morsy missed the final friendly against Burnley, however, it’s been confirmed as a minor knock, and he’ll be ready to go on Saturday. I expect Lewis McLeod to partner the Egyptian in midfield, with Lee Evans playing in the attacking role. Cardiff will be well organised and have quality up front, Evans can drop into midfield when we are without the ball, just offering that extra protection.
Michael Jacobs will be hoping to stay injury-free this campaign, and kick-off with a couple of goals and assists. He’s one of our best players when fully fit, so I’m expecting him to start in his favoured position, left-wing. It’s unknown whether Gavin Massey will be fit enough to start if not, Anthony Pilkington is in great form and will slot in without a problem.
The striker role was difficult – Joe Garner or Josh Windass…I went with Garner simply for his physicality and work hard. To get a result on Saturday, we’ll have to work extremely hard, win our battles and defend set-pieces well. Garner is good in the box at both ends, hopefully, he gets off the mark with a goal and takes us to a win.