Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Wigan Athletic

5th November 2022
First team
Jay Fulton Preston

After defeat at Preston in midweek, Swansea will look to get back to winning ways at Wigan's expense this afternoon. Ahead of this one, take a look at what to expect from the Latics, the key battle and a key stat to whet the appetite.

What to expect from Wigan

Leam Richardson

Upon their return to the Championship, Wigan had made a solid start before a difficult recent run left them heading to the wrong end of the table.

The Latics come into the weekend's trip to Swansea mired in the relegation zone, though they are just one point off safety.

Manager Leam Richardson has favoured a 4-2-3-1 system this season, but has recently experimented with a three-man backline. However, Wigan have lost their last three using a 3-5-2 setup as they fell to defeats to QPR, Watford and Stoke with the system.

One constant that has remained the same, though, is a willingness to get the ball forward as quickly as possible, with a direct approach proving somewhat effective.

They have scored 17 league goals to their credit, but even so; they have developed a statistically calculated weakness of 'finishing scoring chances'.

Richardson is unlikely to tinker too much with the tactics that got Wigan back to this level, and given the Swans' willingness to keep the ball on the deck, the Latics boss may aim to counter that by going direct when given the opportunity.

Wigan are averaging more long balls per game (78.1) than any other Championship team this season to reinforce a style of play of 'long balls'. In addition, Wigan's sole strength is 'aerial duels', which is to be expected given the tendency to play the ball long.

Wigan do rank fourth for aerial duels won per game (23.1) in England's second tier this term, which could work in their favour given one of Swansea's weaknesses happens to be 'aerial duels'.

However, if Swansea are able to play their natural passing game, which has helped elevate them to seventh - just one point and one place off the play-offs - then they have shown the problems they can cause teams..

Wigan have conceded the fourth most goals (26) in the Championship this season, and will know they will need to be resolute defensively if Swansea are able to dominate with the ball.

Key battle

Bristol City away Jay Fulton

Skipper Matt Grimes serves a ban this weekend, so Jay Fulton is set to shoulder the responsibility as the senior midfielder against Wigan.

Fulton boasts the fourth-best pass success rate (90.4%) in England's second tier this term having developed a strength of 'passing'.

With a willingness to get the ball down and play, Fulton's ability to pick out a team-mate with ease could be crucial in the absence of Grimes, who nominally would have been the designated distributor.

Preventing the Swansea midfield dictating the game will be key for the visitors, and the experienced Tom Naylor could be an important figure has gained a statistically calculated strength of 'ball interception' and for good reason, too, as he ranks top for interceptions per 90 (2) of all Wigan players.

His excellent reading of the game will ensure Fulton needs to be on top of his game in order to pick the right passes as he tries to help earn his side all the spoils against Wigan.

Key stat

Only Hull and Huddersfield (both 10) have lost more games than Wigan (9) in the Championship this season, and the Latics make the trip to South Wales on a dire run of form.

A five-game losing streak has seen them drop down the table, and that run is actually the longest losing streak in the Championship this season. Swansea will hope they can extend that unwanted record.