Why Wigan Athletic boss Leam Richardson is looking forward to his side's League One opener at Sunderland

Wigan Athletic boss Leam Richardson says he’s really excited to face Sunderland on the opening day of the League One season.

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 8:33 am

A crowd of over 30,000 is expected at the Stadium of Light while the Latics have sold their full allocation of tickets.

Many Black Cats supporters won’t have been to the ground since a 2-2 draw with Gillingham in March 2020, while the attendance was capped at 10,000 when Sunderland played Lincoln City in last season’s play-offs.

Speaking to Latics TV, Richardson said: “I’m really excited, for myself as well for our fans and our football club.

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Wigan boss Leam Richardson.

“Our fans have sold out and are travelling in numbers, so it’ll be great. It will be brilliant to see and hear them, and seeing them get behind the lads.

“For us to start away at Sunderland, after the pandemic and with fans not being able to get into the ground, it’s great for us.

“We’re under no illusions. Sunderland have some fantastic players who have worked together for a while, and by the looks of it, they’ve had a really good pre-season.

“They have a great coaching staff, with Lee Johnson in charge, so we’re expecting a tough challenge on Saturday.”

Former Sunderland players Charlie Wyke and Max Power are expected to start for Wigan after moving from Wearside to the DW Stadium this summer.

Jordan Jones, who spent the second half of last season on loan with the Black Cats, also signed for Wigan on a permanent deal from Rangers this week.

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