Wigan v Nottm Forest: Entertaining DW encounter on Sunday

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CHAMPIONSHIP specialist James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) shares his thoughts on Sunday's fixture between Wigan and Nottingham Forest.

Wigan v Nottingham Forest | Sunday 20th October 2019, 14:00 | Sky Sports

A Sunday afternoon fix of Championship football is exactly what the doctor ordered and Wigan versus Nottingham Forest has the potentials of a good game for the viewers.

Wigan remain tough to beat at home, whilst Nottingham Forest remain tough to beat full stop. The bookies give the away side the narrowest of edges but anything can happen in this league.

Forest have double the amount of points as the Latics do after 11 games of Championship action. Reds fans are growing with excitement at the prospect of Sabri Lamouchi leading them back into the Premier League.

Wigan boss Paul Cook was briefly touted to take over at League One Sunderland, but those kind of rumours appear to have been squashed.

Plenty of W’s at the DW

As already touched upon, Wigan are generally quite strong at the DW Stadium. It is quite important that they are considering they struggle so much on the road. 12 of their last 13 wins arrived on home soil, although a shock away win at Leeds was the other. That fact alone just proves how bonkers this league continues to be!

It is pretty obvious that Cook himself acknowledges their struggles on the road, although they cannot be lacked for effort. They’re just so much more comfortable at home and that is always shown in the results. They’ve lost just once in their last 15 home league clashes, with the one sole loss also coming against Leeds.

Why are they so strong at home? I do think mentality has a lot to do with it. They’re clearly more aggressive at home, knowing that opponents tend to be slightly more reserved on the road. The numbers don’t necessarily reflect that however as Wigan have only had six more shots at home compared to away league games this season (58-52).

The Latics have failed to score in four of their last six away but have scored in 10 of their past 15 at home in the Championship.

Forest tough to beat

The fact of that matter is that Nottingham Forest have lost only one league game this season, which came on their opening day at home to West Brom, who themselves have lost only once all season. Since then, only Arsenal has defeated them in the EFL Cup. Lamouchi has a certain blueprint which appears to be working well for them so far.

What we can say is that they are clinical in front of goal. They take their chances. In a league table based on shots on goal alone, they would actually be 18th. Therefore, they don’t necessarily create that much compared to most in the league, yet they go into the weekend sitting in second position.

That too is reflected by their Expected Goals (xG) figures, which again places them in 18th. Three of the bottom four have a greater xG count (Stoke, Reading and Huddersfield). Something else I noticed was their goalkeeper is having to do quite a bit of work considering they concede an average of 14.30 shots. In that respective table, they’d be seventh, so the opposition do fire lots of shots away. That doesn’t take into account things such as long range shots etc however.

The betting angles

There is an argument that because of the facts above that Nottingham Forest are riding their luck to a degree but we’re a fair chunk into the season and it has served them well so far. Why would it change?

I never like backing against Wigan at home but I won’t be touching the 1×2 lines given this really could do one of three ways. Both Teams To Score is our first play at 41/50 (Marathon).

Although only 3/11 of Wigan’s games has seen BTTS pay out, 7/11 of Forest’s has done so, including five of their six away league contests. Clearly they’re going to come under some pressure at some stage. Wigan are near the bottom, so are used to conceding, but they always have a go and are tough to deny at home.

Finally, we’ll have a little play on the Second Half being the Highest Scoring Half at 6/5 (Paddy Power). The reason being is that Wigan have scored double the amount of goals after half-time compared to the opening half, whilst also shipping more goals in this time.

Forest also have 11 second-half goals compared to five in the first. Therefore, these teams are scoring 67% and 69% of their goals respective in the second-45. This should open up after half-time, as almost every EFL game tends to do so.

Best Bets

Wigan v Nottingham Forest – Both Teams To Score (41/50 Marathon)

Wigan v Nottingham Forest – Second Half: Highest Scoring Half (6/5 Paddy Power)

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