A chance to claim what was stolen against Leeds, a win, is up for grabs for Blues tonight as they host a Wigan side short of points and short of confidence.
The Latics, who occupy the place above bottom of the table Rotherham are 4 points from safety and will want to avoid coming straight back down to a return to League One. A thought of sharing the same fate as their opponents may not have occurred in the early days of December, as Blues marched onto their play-off chase. However, that will not be occupying the clubs concerns now, as they sit 9 points above the drop zone and are in danger of not picking up points to keep their head firmly out of water.
By now we know Blues can give their best performances and attacking style football under Zola, and can yield nothing or even collapse at the back and go onto lose by more. Warren Joyce’s side have a costly incentive to go and win tonight. Blues, by comparison of places in the league, don’t. They have to win more games under Zola and it goes without saying the effort and commitment is a must to be seen by the fans. A loss to relegation threatened side, at home will not be acceptable given the reality of points accumulated in this current era.
In contrast to Fridays match against 3rd place Leeds, the Latics have only found the net 30 times in the past 35 games. This should suit how Blues are playing right now as it is less likely their opponents can give the ruthlessness that cost the points last time out.
A replica of the side that started in that game could be on the cards, but Lucas Jutkiewitcz and Jonathan grounds could make the starting eleven. Another enthralling performance by Che Adams should keep his name on the team sheet, who had one chance cleared off the line. As Grounds returns, left back Check Keita could miss this one as his lack of defensive work can undermine the attacking threat he provides. Jacques Maghoma could make an appearance off the bench whilst striker Clayton Donaldson finally sees match action this week for the u23s against Sheffield Wednesday and could feature in the game at Cardiff on Saturday.
After being absent in their last outing, manager Warren Joyce could be back in the dugout. Midfielders Sam Morse and Shaun MacDonald will be out with a two match suspension and injury respectively. Max power and David Perkins could feature.
The Don bagged a hat-trick on Wigan’s last visit to St.Andrews back in January 2015. This inflicted a defeat with the similar circumstances as present, Wigan again occupying the place above bottom.
This fixture provides the ideal opportunity for Blues to bounce back, and provide the missing piece to a familiar puzzle. The win itself.