Wigan Athletic and Preston North End played out a goalless draw in their opening fixture of the 2022-23 EFL Championship at the DW Stadium on the 30th of July. This was a game of few big chances. The visitors ended the game down to 10 players as substitute Ched Evans was sent off directly in the 80th minute.
Wigan Athletic lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for this match. In between the sticks was Ben Amos and guarding him was the back-four of captain Tendayi Darikwa on the right, Jack Whatmough and Curtis Tilt as the centre-halves, and Joe Bennett as the left-back. The double pivot in midfield consisted of Max Power and Tom Naylor. The front-four in this game were Callum Lang on the right, James McClean on the left, Will Keane occupying the spot behind the striker, and Josh Magennis being the striker.
Preston North End opted for the 3-5-2 formation for this game, though it mostly resembled a 3-1-4-2. Freddie Woodman was the goalkeeper and shielding him was the back-three of Jordan Stoney, Liam Lindsay and Andrew Hughes. In defensive midfield was Benjamin Whiteman, supported by a central midfield pairing of captain Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson. The wing-backs or wide midfielders were Brad Potts on the right and Robbie Brady on the left. Upfront was the striker pairing of Emil Riis Jakobsen and Troy Parrott.
Wigan had slightly more possession in this match at 51%. They attempted 20 shots to Preston’s 11 and also shot more on target (five). Still, they could not generate any big chances. On the other hand, the visitors generated two big chances but failed to capitalize on them and thus, paid the price by only drawing the game and not winning it. The hosts had more corner kicks in this game, and more shots from inside the box, but could not force their way through the Preston goalkeeper, who made five saves in this match. The Lilywhites committed more fouls, received more bookings and had a player sent off in this match. The Latics had more shots blocked by the opposition.
Wigan completed more passes in this game than Preston and did so at a higher pass accuracy. They also completed more long balls and crosses at more successful rates in this match. The Latics completed seven dribbles in this game with a 41% success rate, compared to Preston’s one at 17%. The hosts won more duels but also committed more turnovers than the Lilywhites. As far as defensive actions are concerned, the visitors outperformed the Latics in tackles and clearances but had fewer interceptions.
A goalless draw would not have been the ideal start that both teams would have hoped for. Next for Wigan Athletic is a trip to Norwich City on Saturday 6th August. For Preston North End, they host Hull City on the same day.
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