It was another pleasing home performance last Saturday as Latics comfortably outplayed Walsall. Will Grigg was back amongst the goals with a brace and the fans will now be expecting him to show the form that helped them win the League One title in 2015/16.
Latics have been impressive at home this season and are undefeated having scored 12 goals and only conceded two. However their away form is less satisfactory with three wins and two defeats in their five away games, scoring eight and conceding four.
They have lost to League leaders Shrewsbury and fourth placed Peterborough and they come up against seventh placed Scunthorpe United tomorrow.
Latics will know that they need to up their game away from home against teams near the top of the table if they are to make the automatic promotion places.
They were out fought at Shrewsbury and in the second half at Peterborough and they will have to be more competitive at Scunthorpe.
The Iron are expected to be amongst the promotion contenders this season as they finished in third place last season only losing out to Millwall in the play-offs.
Former PNE defender Graham Alexander manages them and they have developed a reputation for solid defence, only conceding two goals at home and five overall. They have only lost once at home this season, 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers.
Will Grigg may now be on fire but Scunthorpe also have a prolific goal scorer in Paddy Madden. The Republic of Ireland international has four goals to his name this season and both Grigg and Madden have each scored a remarkable 71 goals during their time in League One.
Madden scored 11 in Scunthorpe’s push to the play-offs last season but he will be hoping to improve on that this time around if they are to be serious challengers.
Latics will be without probably their most competitive player Sam Morsy who is on international duty with Eqypt and they noticeably struggled in the second half at Peterborough without him.
David Perkins or Max Power is likely to come into the team to replace him at Glanford Park. Morsy provides excellent defensive cover for the back four and it will be a big challenge for whoever replaces him to match that level of cover.
Michael Jacobs has deservedly been nominated for the September League One player of the month awards after an impressive start to the campaign but he could be missing tomorrow with a thigh strain.
Question marks remain about Latics’ performances against the top teams and without Morsy and possibly Jacobs, Scunthorpe will provide an even tougher test.
This article was first published in the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 6th October 2017.