Wigan Athletic returned to the EFL Championship after winning the League One title last season. They returned to the second division after spending two seasons in the third division. The club had a lot of ambitions for their return. However, things haven’t gone the same way as expected, and Wigan are fighting for relegation. The team currently sits at the bottom of the EFL Championship table, with only 1/3 of the matches remaining.
The relegation battle this season is more interesting than the promotion battle. None of the teams sitting in the bottom half are guaranteed safety. Wigan Athletic have performed below par what they did last season. We now look at some of the stats that show where they are struggling on their return to the EFL Championship.
The 2022-2023 season
Wigan Athletic have won seven, drawn ten, and lost 15 matches this season. The team currently sits at the bottom of the table. They have scored 29 goals and conceded 50, the joint-worst defensive record in the league. The above viz shows the percentile rank of Wigan Athletic in comparison to other teams in the EFL Championship. Wigan Athletic have struggled in every department and are ranked way below average. These overall deficits in performance are one of the primary reasons behind these failures.
Struggles to find the back of the net
In League One last season, Wigan Athletic were dominant in the attack. The team created 28.7 positional attacks and 1.76 counterattacks per match. They took 11.11 shots per match and had a 40.1% accuracy rate. Wigan players managed to score 78 goals and averaged 1.78 goals per match. The team had an xG rate of 1.32 per match.
This season, things haven’t gone in their favour and the team is struggling to find the back of the net. They are lacking quality in their attacking displays. Wigan Athletic creates 25.66 positional attacks and 0.94 counterattacks per match. The average for these attacks has fallen. This has also affected their average for the number of shots taken and goals scored. Wigan Athletic averages 9.38 shots with a 28.4% accuracy rate. Their xG has also fallen a bit to 1.13 per match. If we look at both the xG maps, we can observe that the goal-scoring positions are similar, but the number of chances has dropped. This is one of the reasons why they are struggling to find the back of the net.
Wigan Athletic have conceded 50 goals. These are six more than the number of goals that they conceded last year. The defence hasn’t raised its level according to the EFL Championship standard, and they are leaking goals.
Wigan’s defence has leaked 50 goals in the current season. They conceded 1.56 goals per match. The defenders have performed their defensive duties and have won most of their duels. However, they have failed to stop the opponents from taking shots. The opposition teams averaged 9.91 shots against Wigan Athletic. The above viz shows that the team has faced a very high total of xG. Wigan Athletic players have given the opposition enough space inside the penalty box to score goals.
Last season, Wigan players only allowed the opposition to take 8.4 shots and conceded only 0.96 goals per match. There is a huge difference in the xG faced when compared with both seasons. Last season, 37.49 xGA was generated in all the matches played. This season they have surpasses this tally already. EFL Championship teams play better quality football than EFL League One teams. Wigan Athletic failed to cope with the challenge.
As per the 1×2 betting odds, Wigan Athletic will have a high odds rate of winning the match. Their odds will only be lower against a team that is weaker than them on paper. As for the over/under goals, the under goals are likely to thrive.
Wigan Athletic have a chance to remain in the EFL Championship. They need to improve both in attack and defence. Currently, they are on a three-match unbeaten streak. Shaun Maloney will hope that his former side gives its best in the remaining games and find their way out of this zone.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine