Wigan v Port Vale: good business for both clubs

robinson and kennedy

Robinson and Kennedy – www.stokesentinel.co.uk

If this game is anything like the one when these teams last met in September, the neutrals are in for a treat. Wigan clawed back a two goal deficit by scoring twice in the last twenty-five minutes, only to concede a late Uche Ikpeazu winner after Leon Barnett’s red card.

Three days later, Port Vale lost 1-0 to Millwall, but that was their only league defeat at Vale Park this term. They have picked up 26 of their 40 points this season in Burslem and no team in League One have picked up a higher percentage of their points on their own turf (65%).

Unfortunately for them, it is the Latics who have home advantage here. Gary Caldwell’s side are on a high, having scored 3 goals in four of their last six games and dropped just four points in their previous seven. The rookie Scot is not resting on his laurels, though. He has acted swiftly this January to bring in Ryan Colclough from Crewe Alexandra and Sam Morsy from Chesterfield.

Colclough has been a rare bright spark in a struggling Alex side this year. Having put previous personal issues behind him, the youngster looks to have the speed, talent and individuality to be a success in West Lancashire. Morsy is midfielder with a low centre of gravity, giving him excellent mobility and intelligence. Signing such talented players represents a huge statement of intent for Wigan, who will believe they can launch a sustained push for the top two in the next four months.

Port Vale have promotion hopes of their own, though their sights are lower, the Burslem side three points off the play-offs. The signings they have made this month are, unsurprisingly, not as audacious as the ones they have made, but Theo Robinson and Matthew Kennedy could make an impact.

Robinson struggled at Doncaster, against whom he made his debut as a late sub on Tuesday, but could make an impact with his lightening pace, should he get over the injuries problems that have plagued him in recent years. Kennedy had an impressive debut at the Keepmoat and, although he is not the most exciting wide man, he fits into the Vale culture of teamwork and industry.

Both teams can be pleased with their recent transfer business, but the advantage is with Wigan here. Port Vale have come away empty handed in nine of their 15 league away trips this season and only Blackpool and Fleetwood (11) have scored fewer on the road (12). Throw in the fact that in-form Wigan have let in just 11 in 14 at home and a Latics win to nil looks the most likely outcome.