By Daniel Wood
Huddersfield Town host Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday 14 March at the John Smith’s Stadium; 3 pm KO.
The Terrier come into this game 1 point ahead of the Latics. Town sits 3 points ahead of the relegation zone, meanwhile, Wigan are 2 points ahead of the bottom three. In their last five games, Town have picked up 7 points out of a possible 15, however, Wigan have picked up 11 points out of a possible 15.
Last time out saw Town lose 2-0 at Elland Road current league Leaders Leeds United. Whereas, Wigan drew 0-0 to relegation contenders Luton Town at the DW Stadium.
Huddersfield’s home record has improved as of late. At the end of 2019, they had the worst home record in the division, but since the turn of the year, they have been a more viable threat at the John Smith’s Stadium. They now have the 15th best home record in the division (seven wins, five draws, and seven loses).
The Latics will be looking to put some breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone. Their form has been very good as of late, as they have gone unbeaten for six games (three wins and three draws).
Wigan have the 17th best away record in the division, this season. They have gathered 17 points on their travels, which has seen them pick up just four wins in 19 games away from home.
Their manager, Paul Cook, had a long playing career as he made 642 appearances for a slew of English clubs. As for managerial experience, he has been the head coach of six clubs since 2006. He has won two League Two titles, one with Chesterfield and one with Portsmouth.
He also won the League One title with current club Wigan Athletic and even took them on a cup run that saw them defeat three Premier League opponents in West Ham United, AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City. In fact, his side were the first English team to defeat a Pep Guardiola side. Despite all of this, he only has a 42.9% win percentage as a manager.
Wigan Athletic currently sit 20th in the SkyBet Championship, two places and two points above the bottom three.
Ones to Watch
The 27-year old forward has had a decent spell for Wigan Athletic this season, considering their league position. He has scored 6 goals and assisted 4 in 27 games in the SkyBet Championship this season. It has been quite a rise from Moore, as he was released by Yeovil Town in 2015 following their relegation to League Two. He then played for a few clubs before having a very good season with Barnsley in League One last season, scoring 17 goals in 31 appearances.
Wigan Athletic are unbeaten since Balogun made his debut on 11 February 2020. He was signed on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion in the January transfer window. He made his first appearance as a substitute in a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough. Since then, the central defender has started every game and has yet to taste defeat in a Wigan Athletic kit. In his 6 appearances, he has kept 4 clean sheets.
The former Terrier will be keen to do a job against his old club. Pilkington joined Wigan from Cardiff City in January 2019. The Republic of Ireland international now plays in midfield after years of being a forward. During his two years at Town, he scored 19 goals in 92 appearances.
TEAM NEWS – Huddersfield Town
Danny Cowley was without Jonathan Hogg (knee), Tommy Elphick (knee), Colin Quaner (hip) and Kamil Grabara (head) against Leeds United due to knee injuries.
Although, Kamil Grabara played for the Elite Development Team that clinched a 4-0 win over Blackpool in the Central League. Therefore, he comes closer to a return to the first team.
TEAM NEWS – Wigan Athletic
Tom Pearce and Joe Gelhardt were unavailable for Wigan’s game against Luton Town.
Chey Dunkley (leg) and Danny Fox (groin) are currently unavailable as they continue to recover from their injury setbacks.
Antonee Robinson (groin) is also still out of action.
Huddersfield Town leads the head to head record against the Latics. Since their first meeting in 1973, Town have won 14 times, Wigan have won 9 times and there have been 8 draws. Last time out saw the teams draw 1-1 earlier in the season, at the DW Stadium.
As mentioned earlier, Wigan have a better recent form coming into this game. They haven’t lost for six games and haven’t conceded a single goal in their last four games. This should give them confidence going into the game against Huddersfield Town, who lost 2-0 to Leeds last time out.
Both teams are aiming to get some distance between themselves and the bottom three. Town sit at 18th in the Championship, 3 points ahead of the relegation zone and if results go their way, they could leapfrog Stoke City to go 17th. Meanwhile, Wigan sit at 20th in the Championship, 2 points ahead of the relegation zone. If results go their way, they could go up to 17th in the league. If points are shared, both teams could drop places.
Despite both teams being near the relegation zone, they are both in good form and they will post a decent threat against one another. Latics’ defence has been extremely solid as of late, whereas the Terriers are more of a threat in attacking areas than Latics.
With both teams wanting a win, I see them both scoring and in the end reaching a stalemate as they attempt to outdo each other.
Therefore, I predict: