MX23RW : Friday, February 21 14:01:29| >> :600:1036913:1036913:
Feb 8, 2020 at 12.30pm UK at ​DW Stadium
Attendance: 12,439
WiganWigan Athletic
PrestonPreston North End
Dunkley (57')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Barkhuizen (7'), Johnson (48')

Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the Championship clash between Wigan Athletic and Preston North End, including previews, team news and possible lineups.

Relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic host playoff-chasing Preston North End at the DW Stadium on Saturday as they look to build on back-to-back wins and steer themselves to safety.

Preston, however, are just three points behind sixth-placed Bristol City in the Championship table and will see this fixture as an opportunity to keep the pressure on the teams ahead of them.

Match preview

Wigan players celebrate their goal against Leeds on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Wigan have secured back-to-back Championship wins in their last two games after a run of just one victory in 16 league outings as they look to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

Paul Cook's side had appeared destined for the drop after a 13-game winless streak between October and December in which they picked up just six points from a possible 39.

However, a 2-1 victory over promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday was followed by a 1-0 win over title-chasing Leeds United, and Wigan are now just two points from safety.

Despite these results, Wigan are still the lowest-scoring side in the division, recording just 28 goals in 30 league games so far this season and are the only team in the Championship to manage less than a goal per game on average.

Preston will be hoping to take advantage of this profligacy and ease past their opponents just as they did in their first meeting earlier this season, when Alex Neil's side ran out 3-0 winners at Deepdale.

However, they are away from home this time and will have to be wary if they are to avoid becoming the latest promotion-chasing scalp to be claimed by Wigan.

Preston have the best home record in the Championship, winning 10 and drawing three of their 16 such games, but are much poorer on the road, managing just three victories from 14 fixtures.

However, Neil's side are unbeaten in their last four - including a 3-0 win away at Barnsley - and will hope to carry that strong form with them into this clash.

Wigan Athletic Championship form: LWLLWW
Wigan Athletic form (all competitions): WLLLWW

Preston North End Championship form: LLDWWD
Preston North End form (all competitions): LLDWWD

Team News

Preston manager Alex Neil on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Wigan head coach Cook is missing a quartet of players ahead of Preston's visit this weekend.

Kieran Dowell, Dujon Sterling and Charlie Mulgrew are all expected to remain sidelined with injuries.

Meanwhile, Danny Fox is a long-term absentee and will miss the rest of the season.

Preston manager Neil has a similar injury to deal with - Louis Moult will also miss the rest of the campaign due to a serious injury.

Aside from that, Tom Bayliss and Billy Bodin are expected to be missing, but Paul Gallagher is back in training and will be in contention, but may not be risked.

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Byrne, Kipre, Dunkley, Naismith, Pearce; Evans, Morsy, Williams; Moore, Massey

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Rafferty; Pearson, Browne; Sinclair, Johnson, Harrop; Barkhuizen

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We say: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Preston North End

Given Wigan's last two results and Preston's poor record away from home, it is possible that Cook's side will manage to battle to a share of the points against another high-flying opponent.

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Who will win Saturday's Championship fixture between Wigan Athletic and Preston North End?

Wigan Athletic
Preston North End
Wigan Athletic
Preston North End
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