Hello Darkness, my old friend it was good to see you again. Swindon Town ended 2020 in another disheartening, disappointing defeat which us fans have been so accustomed to in the latter part of 2020. Start again fresh, it is a new year and could it be a new Swindon Town. The first game of 2021 is a must win relegation six pointer against fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic. The John Sheridan Derby
Safe to say Swindon Town form going into this game has been shocking at best. No win in 6 leagues games, just one solitary point picked up in those games. Which was the late equaliser from Brett Pitman against Charlton Athletic. Tuesday night defeat to MK Dons was harrowing to watch. The game was lost at half time, the lop sided 3-5-2 did not work and it played into MK Dons hands and they attacked with guile and glee in those opening blows. The change to a 4-2-3-1 helped and Swindon looked a decent side and caused MK Dons a lot of problems. The 4th MK Dons goal and then Rob Hunt (Harsh red card) was the final nail in the coffin.
For me, a change of tactic needs to happen and ditch the very lop sided 3-5-2, playing a young rookie CB in Akin Odimayo out of position at wing back. its not his fault but he has looked quite uncomfortable in that position for a few games now. Maybe a fresh input of ideas and a system change is needed. A change back to the tried and tested 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 would be suffice. As in recent games there has been a lack of support to the front men, playing long balls to Tyler Smith and Diallang Jaiyesimi is not the way to play. Play into the feet and let Jaiyesimi roll his attackers, he is not threatening enough when the ball is in the air. Tyler Smith is a off the shoulder striker who relies on his pace, but the tactics played are not to his strengths. Its mindboggling sometimes watching Swindon Town under John Sheridan in recent weeks.
My Predicted XI for Wigan 4-3-3
Kovar, Caddis, Conroy, Odimayo, Fryers, Lyden, Grant, M. Smith, Payne, Jaiyesimi, T. Smith
Wigan Athletic have had a torrid time on the pitch in 2020, they are currently sitting in 22nd place in the League One Standings with 19 points from 20 games. Sitting one place and two points above Swindon Town in the league standings. Leam Richardson is in caretaker charge of the Latics after John Sheridan left Wigan in November to take charge of Swindon Town.
The last 6 games for Wigan have been very impressive with 3 wins, 2 draws and one defeat. This after an absolute wretched start to the season which had handicapped them. The three wins in recent games have come against Sunderland away which was a 1-0 victory. A home win over Accrington Stanley which was a 4-3 thriller. Another 4-3 thriller which was on Tuesday night away at Burton Albion. The loss was a humbling heavy loss at home to Rochdale 5-0 and the two draws have come against Fleetwood and Shrewsbury.
Leam Richardson has switched up his tactics in recent weeks and not afraid to change it up. By switching from a 4-2-3-1 in 4 of the last 7 games. Played a 4-4-2 against Shrewsbury and switched to a 3-5-2 for the games against Rochdale and Accrington Stanley.
The players to watch out for the Wigan Athletic, Kyle Joseph is an u19 Scottish international and has really hit the ground running for Wigan. Made his debut for the club this season away at Northampton and scored his first goal for the club in a win over Sunderland. Scored a hat-trick away at Burton Albion and was the hero in there 4-3 win on Tuesday night. In 11 league appearances he has netted 4 goals. Will Keane who on more than one occasion was linked to a move to the County Ground in the past is another player to watch out for in tomorrow game. Keane has been in good form; in his last 5 games he has netted 3 goals. In total in the league this season he has scored 4 in 10.
Like any other game this is a massive game for Swindon Town. A confidence boosting performance is needed after a some very disappointing performances which has seen the club drop into the bottom 4 and staring the abyss back into the bottom basement of the football league. Wigan Athletic on the other hand will be looking for another strong performance and a win that could elevate them out of the bottom 4 if results go their way.
Preview by Scot Munroe