Wigan v Sheffield Wednesday preview
Last Updated: 03/08/18 12:08pm
Wigan defender Dan Burn is an injury doubt for his side’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday.
Centre-half Burn was forced out of the Latics’ friendly defeat at Rangers on Sunday due to a foot injury and will be assessed by boss Paul Cook.
Nathan Byrne was not involved at Ibrox due to a knock and will also be monitored, while summer signing Gavin Massey is poised for his debut after missing out through illness. Fellow new recruits Reece James and Callum McManaman, plus striker Jamie Walker, are in contention.
Wednesday will be without injured trio Kieran Lee, Gary Hooper and Almen Abdi. Midfielder Lee and striker Hooper are still working their way back from respective long-term hip injuries, which have kept both players sidelined in 2018.
Abdi has been restricted to just 12 starts for the Owls since joining from Watford in 2016 due to a succession of injuries and the midfielder sustained a hamstring problem in pre-season. Steven Fletcher (knee) and Joost van Aken (ankle) are both fit after missing the second half of last season through injury.
Wigan have lost their last four Championship matches against Sheffield Wednesday, losing both games against them in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 campaigns.
All three league meetings between Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday at the DW Stadium have ended 1-0 - Wigan won in March 2014, while the Owls won in December 2014 and February 2017.
Wigan Athletic won 1-0 against MK Dons on the opening day last season - since joining the Football League in 1978, they've only won on opening day in back to back seasons once, doing so in 1996-97 (2-1 v Northampton) and 1997-98 (5-2 v Wycombe).
Sheffield Wednesday have only lost two of their last 10 opening day matches (W6 D2), though one of those defeats came last season against Preston at Deepdale.
Wigan boss Paul Cook is set to take charge of a Championship match for the first time - since he took charge of his first Football League match in February 2012, only Chris Wilder (142) has won more English league matches (excluding play-offs) than Cook (140).
Sheffield Wednesday collected just seven points in Jos Luhukay's first 10 league games in charge (W1 D4 L5) but then won 20 points in his next 10 games (W6 D2 L2).
Wigan will be hoping to do better than the last time they won promotion to the Championship and actually stay up this time! They do seem far more stable under Paul Cook, although it is his first time managing in the second tier.
After so much positivity in the last couple of years at Sheffield Wednesday it all seems a bit gloomy now. Last season was incredibly disappointing and there has been nothing to really lift the mood over the summer. I think the Latics will claim an important opening win here.
David Prutton predicts: 2-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)