Wigan Athletic vs Stoke City preview: Hosts looking to pull away from trouble against struggling Potters
Wigan Athletic's Michael jacobs celebrating  after  scoring his side's second goal in their  2-0 home victory over Blackburn Rovers  (photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images))..

Wigan Athletic will look to continue their fantastic restart to the Championship campaign when they host struggling Stoke City on Tuesday night.

In the two games that the Latics have played since the restart of the League, they have earned maximum points after earning 2-0 victories on the road against Huddersfield Town, and at home to Blackburn Rovers last time out.

These two impressive results have moved Paul Cook's side from 20th into 17th, five points ahead of the relegation zone.

On the other hand, with seven games remaining in the campaign, Stoke are in real danger of suffering a second relegation in three seasons as they sit in 20th position, only one point above the relegation places.

Furthermore, in comparison to their opponents, the Potters have made a disappointing restart to their Championship season as they have failed to pick up a win so far.

In the two games that Michael O'Neil's side have been involved in since the restart, a late Nick Powell strike salvaged a 1-1 draw at Reading, but on Saturday, they suffered a 2-0 loss against relegation rivals Middlesbrough at the Bet365 Stadium. 

Team news

Going into Tuesday's relegation encounter, Wigan have no new injury problems that they need to be concerned about with defender Chey Dunkley being the only confirmed absence, as he is likely to be out for the rest of the season with a broken leg.

In  their previous game, goals in the final nine minutes by substitutes Lee Evans and Michael Jacobs sealed a win at Ewood Park and their contribution may give Cook a selection headache prior to Tuesday's game.

Whereas for Stoke, former Wigan midfielder Powell will be unable to make a return to the DW Stadium as he is suspended for the fixture after he was sent off for a second bookable offence last time out.

Similarly to Wigan, the side based in Staffordshire only have one player unavailable due to an injury which is Joe Allen, who has not yet recovered from the Achilles’ tendon rupture that he suffered against Hull City in March.

Some good news for the visitors though, is that it is possible that Captain Ryan Shawcross who has only played 45 minutes worth of football since the turn of the year, may be fit giving O'Neil further defensive options ahead of Tuesday's game.

Last time out

In the reverse fixture in November, a 90th minute strike by Mame Biram Diouf sealed a 2-1 win for the Potters, and it was one that continued O'Neil's 100% winning start after managing two games for the club.

A mistake by goalkeeper Jack Butland allowed Wigan midfielder Sam Morsy to volley home into an empty net to hand the away side the lead, six minutes before the break.

Although, in the 56th minute centre back Danny Batth levelled up the scores when he latched on to the end of a James Mcclean free kick from the left hand side.

Then, out of favour forward Diouf completed the comeback in second half injury time to net his first and only goal of the season so far, as he slotted past David Marshall from close range, sealing only his side's second home league win of the campaign.

Consequently, Stoke will be hoping for a similar result as they look to strengthen their chances of survival come the end of the season.

On the other hand, Wigan will look to avoid their opponents doing the double over them as they know that a couple of bad results could very well put them at risk of going back deep into the relegation mire.

Predicted line-ups

Wigan:

Marshall, Byrne, Kipre, Balogun, Robinson, Williams, Morsy, Lowe, Evans, Jacobs, Moore.

Stoke:

Butland, Smith, Batth, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Cousins, Clucas, Thompson, Ince, McClean, Vokes.

The game can be watched live for those who have access to ‘Latics TV’ or ‘Stoke City +’, with kick-off at 19:45 on Tuesday 30th June.

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