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Reece James of Chelsea among last Wigan Athletic XI to beat Preston North End

Wigan Athletic host Preston North End on the opening day of the Championship season on Saturday, chasing their first win over the Lilywhites since 2019…

The post Reece James of Chelsea among last Wigan Athletic XI to beat Preston North End appeared first on HITC.

Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images

Wigan Athletic host Preston North End on the opening day of the Championship season on Saturday, chasing their first win over the Lilywhites since 2019 with Reece James featuring.

Preston have won the last two encounters between the clubs after the Deepdale outfit did the second-tier double during 2019/20. That term also saw that the Latics were relegated into League One with Charlton Athletic and Hull City after ending the season in 23rd place.

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Wigan have now worked their way back into the Championship after winning the third-tier title last term. The DW Stadium side edged Rotherham United for the crown by two points, having produced a drastic turnaround on the 2020/21 term when they only ranked in 20th.

Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images

Paul Cook oversaw last Wigan win over Preston in 2019 at DW Stadium

Leam Richardson has worked diligently over the off-season to now build a Wigan side that can compete in the second-tier. The Latics have so far only secured two signings ahead of hosting Preston, with Ryan Nyambe and Matt Wonnacott moving to Greater Manchester.

Richardson will hope his squad can follow in the footsteps of Paul Cook’s men in April 2019 and beat the Lilywhites. The Latics won a matchday 44 Championship meeting 2-0 at home to move up to 18th in the standings, with Leon Clarke and Lee Evans scoring in either half.

The DW Stadium match marks Wigan’s only win over Preston in their last six encounters in all competitions since 2010. It is also the Latics’ most recent league win over the Lilywhites since 2004, having won an EFL Cup tie in 2010 before four defeats, one win and one draw.

So, with that in mind, who featured beside Clarke, Evans and former Chelsea loanee James in Cook’s squad that sealed Wigan’s last win over Preston ahead of Saturday’s encounter?

WIGAN, ENGLAND – APRIL 22: Wigan Athletic’s Christian Walton celebrates his side’s second goal
during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Preston North End at DW Stadium on April 22, 2019 in Wigan, England. (Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Christian Walton (GK): Starter of last Wigan win over Preston now at Ipswich

Christian Walton started in goal for Wigan when the Latics last beat Preston after returning for a third loan move in 2018/19. He had enjoyed two temporary spells at the DW Stadium in the 2017/18 term, too, and he is now at Ipswich Town after leaving Brighton in January.

Nathan Byrne (RB): Starter of last Wigan win over Preston now a free agent

Cook started Nathan Byrne as Wigan would claim what remains their last win over Preston in 2019. The 30-year-old joined the Latics from Wolves in 2016 and stayed at the club until joining Derby in 2020, but is now a free agent after his Rams contract expired this June 30.

Chey Dunkley (CB): Starter of last Wigan win over Preston now at Shrewsbury

Chey Dunkley is now with his second side since leaving Wigan in 2020 after the 30-year-old left Sheffield Wednesday for Shrewsbury Town this summer. The centre-half enjoyed three years at the DW Stadium after joining from Oxford United, over which he played 117 times.

Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images

Danny Fox (CB): Starter of last Wigan win over Preston now a free agent

Danny Fox is currently a free agent after the defender left Indian Super League side SC East Bengal last June. The 36-year-old had moved to India in 2020 from Wigan after one and a half years at the DW Stadium, playing just 23 games after joining from Nottingham Forest.

Antonee Robinson (LB): USMNT star now Premier League-bound with Fulham

Antonee Robinson is now bound for another season as a first-choice left-back at a Premier League club after helping Fulham win the Championship title last term. He enjoyed 28 top-flight games during the 2020/21 term after Wigan sold the star USMNT defender for £2m.

Sammy Morsy (CDM): Ipswich captain helped Wigan seal last win over Preston

Sammy Morsy is now Ipswich captain, but led Wigan to their last win over Preston in 2019. The 30-year-old was a mainstay of the Latics’ unit after returning from a loan to Barnsley in 2016/17 up to his departure for Middlesbrough in 2020, before moving club again in 2021.

Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images

Reece James (CDM): Chelsea star spent 2018/19 term on loan at Wigan

James is now among the top Premier League right-backs after the 13-cap England dynamo broke into Chelsea’s defence on the back of spending the 2018/19 campaign on loan with Wigan. The 22-year-old also offered the Latics an option in midfield in his 46 appearances.

Gavin Massey (RM): Former Latics star now at Port Vale after 2022 release

Gavin Massey joined Wigan from Leyton Orient back in 2017, but is now at Port Vale after joining the League One side as a free agent on Monday. The Latics released the 29-year-old after winning the title last season, having only started nine of his 33 league appearances.

Lee Evans (CAM): Ipswich star scored as Wigan sealed last win over Preston

Evans rounded out the scoring in the 68th minute with his first goal of the season as Wigan took their last win against Preston three years ago. The midfielder had joined the Latics on loan from Sheffield United in August 2018, before he made the deal permanent in January.

Wigan had previously hired Evans from Wolves in 2017 before the three-cap Wales ace got his move to Bramall lane. But it was at DW Stadium where he enjoyed his most games with 115 outings for eight goals and 17 assists before joining Ipswich in 2021 in a free transfer.

Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images

Kal Naismith (LM): Former Wigan star now at Bristol City after leaving Luton

Kal Naismith laid on the assist for Clarke to open the scoring as Wigan took a 2-0 win over Preston in April 2019. He had joined the Latics from Portsmouth at the start of that season and remained until joining Luton Town in 2021, who he left in June and joined Bristol City.

Leon Clarke (ST): Starter of last Wigan win over Preston now a free agent

Clarke scored Wigan’s first goal to help toward what currently remains the Latics’ last win against Preston. He broke the deadlock in the 11th minute for his sixth goal of the league term after arriving at the DW Stadium on loan from Sheffield United in the January sales.

Wigan had previously hired the forward from Wolves in 2015, as well, for a combined four goals and five assists for the Latics over 25 appearances. Clarke has since gone on to play for Shrewsbury and Bristol Rovers but is currently without a club after his contract expired.
The post Reece James of Chelsea among last Wigan Athletic XI to beat Preston North End appeared first on Ladunblog.

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