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Stadium: JJB Stadium (25,000)
Distance from OT: 26.5 miles
Position 07/08: 14th
Head-to-head 07/08: 4-0 (h) 2-0 (a)
When do we play them? 20/12 (h) 18/4 (a)
14/08/2008 07:21

League profile: Wigan

Need improved grades to avoid being expelled from the big time...

Headmaster

Harry Houdini – or Steve Bruce as he’s known round here. The ex-Red orchestrated the Latics’ great escape last term, after taking the seemingly suicidal step of swapping Birmingham City for a side vying with Derby for bottom spot. How he must have laughed when Wigan secured safety with a 2-0 win at Villa, while the Blues lost their relegation ‘six-pointer’ against Fulham.

Head boy Paul Scharner won Wigan’s player of the year award, probably because his defending allows midfielders Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios to maraud.

Maths Scharner was the Latics’ joint second-highest scorer last season – his four goals matched Emile Heskey and Antoine Sibierski.

English Wigan had the fourth highest average of English players starting last season. As Capello has pointed out, though “More important is quality…”

History The post-Christmas upturn should be lauded, but still a below-par season.

Tuck shop item Dairy Milk with Caramel: Reds now find the JJB Double-y sweet.

Predicted grade B- A sharp start could set up a top-half finish. But they need goals; Heskey and co. have to deliver.

Detention Last season Michael Brown avoided red cards but saw 11 yellows.

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