On Sunday afternoon, League One high fliers Wigan Athletic host Southampton at the DW Stadium in the FA Cup quarter-final.
Although Wigan’s priority this season is a return to the Championship, the Latics have pulled off some major upsets in the FA Cup, the biggest of which was a 1-0 victory over runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Prior to the win over City, the north west outfit had beaten Bournemouth and West Ham in the previous rounds of the competition. Even more impressively, Paul Cook’s side kept clean sheets in all three encounters with their top-flight opponents.
Southampton have been in woeful form of late. The Saints poor recent form led to the sacking of boss Mauricio Pellegrino and the appointment of former Stoke boss Mark Hughes. This will be the former Wales’ bosses’ debut game in charge of the south coast outfit.
The Saints have won just three of their last ten games in all competitions, with two of those wins coming in the FA Cup. The visitors have eliminated Fulham, Watford and West Brom so far this season.
The visitor’s recent away record is not bad at all, as a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle in their last away game ended a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions on their travels for the visitors.
Wigan are likely to be without Shaun MacDonald and Jordan Flores for this clash. For the visitor’s defender Maya Yoshida, midfielder Steven Davis and striker Charlie Austin are all expected to miss out through injury. New boss Mark Hughes may make changes to the team that lined-up in that 3-0 defeat against Newcastle.
It is always difficult to tell what effect a new boss will have on a team, so this game is hard to judge. Wigan are in decent form, but the Saints may get a new manager bounce from Hughes appointment. I think this may well finish in a hard-fought draw.