With the Whites’ local rivals having suffered relegation from the top flight back in May after eight consecutive seasons in the Premier League, this weekend’s clash will be the first between the sides in almost two years.
When the teams met last, Wigan ran out 2-1 winners at the Reebok Stadium thanks to James McArthur’s late strike, while in the last meeting at the DW Stadium it was to be Wanderers’ day as they secured a 3-1 victory back in October 2011.
Following on from their Europa League exit against Maribor on Thursday evening, Sunday’s clash marks manager Uwe Rosler’s first league match in charge of the Latics after the departure of former Bolton boss Owen Coyle earlier this month.
Having struggled to make their mark during the opening months of the campaign, Wigan are currently residing in 14th position in the Sky Bet Championship league standings, a single place above Bolton courtesy of a superior goal difference.
It was certainly a summer of change for the Lancashire outfit, with the departure of manager Roberto Martinez alongside a number of influential players such as Antolín Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa and Franco Di Santo leaving the Wigan faithful unsure of what the future would hold for the club.
The arrival of Coyle in the hot seat however alongside a range of new faces including the acquisition of highly rated Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell and experienced goalkeeper Scott Carson gave the club’s fans renewed optimism ahead of the new season.
Following an inconsistent start to the campaign however with six wins, four draws and eight defeats in the league, the decision was taken to appoint former Manchester City striker Rosler from League One high-fliers Brentford earlier this month.
With the biggest crowd of the season expected at the DW Stadium and almost 4,000 visiting supporters confirmed to be making the short trip to the game, the clash looks set to be a festive cracker come kick off.