After spending two seasons in the third tier of the EFL, Wigan Athletic won the 2021-22 EFL League One title, which means that they have been promoted and will compete in the 2022-23 EFL Championship season. What is even more impressive is that they narrowly escaped relegation just one season before. The Latics racked up 92 points throughout the campaign. Here, we will review Wigan Athletic’s season in the third tier of the English Football League system.
Wigan Athletic topped the EFL League One table with a record of 27 wins, 11 draws and eight losses to their name. Their goal difference stood at +38, which was the highest of any team. The Latics scored 82 times during the season, which was the joint-most along with Oxford United, who missed out on the promotion play-offs. Even though Wigan’s goals per game ratio was only 1.78, they have massively overperformed on their xG throughout the season. The metric estimated the Latics to score only 61 times, meaning the team has outperformed its xG by 34.43% in percentage terms.
Defensively, Wigan Athletic have had the joint second-best record with MK Dons, as both the teams have conceded 44 times each. The team from Milton Keynes was eliminated from the play-offs. When looking at xGA, the Latics have slightly underperformed, having allowed 44 goals against an xGA of 40. On a per-game basis, Wigan conceded 0.96 goals per game and kept 16 clean sheets throughout the campaign.
Power has been the most successful threat creator for Wigan Athletic this season in the EFL League One. He has produced the most threat from both open play as well as from set-pieces. In fact, the 28-year-old Englishman has generated nearly three times more threat than the next best in the Latics squad, who is the Irishman, James McClean. It is no surprise to see that Power has provided the most assists for Wigan this season, with 11 to his name.
Shown in the above visual is the shot map of Wigan Athletic in the EFL League One this season, excluding the penalties. The Latics’ top goalscorer for this season has been the Irishman, Will Keane, with 26 goals. The next best in the Wigan squad is Callum Lang, who has 15 strikes to his name. Both men overperformed on their xG tally. Wigan took 568 shots and netted 80 goals (excluding own goals by opposition players), giving them a shot conversion rate of 7.1 shots per goal scored.
As seen in the above chart, Wigan rank top in goals per 90 and assists per 90 despite finding themselves only in the second from the top quintile for both xG per 90 and xA per 90. Another category where the Latics rank top is the percentage of shots on target.
Having secured the title and as a result, automatic promotion, on the last matchday of the season, Wigan Athletic will be preparing to compete in the next season of the EFL Championship. The Latics will need to strengthen their squad in the summer, particularly in defence, if they are to survive in the second tier of English Football.