Wigan Athletic vs Hull City preview: Latics and Tigers face off in crucial relegation clash
(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Time and fixtures are running out for Hull City. Last week, the Tigers lost a third straight match in the EFL Championship, going down 1-0 at home to Millwall. Hull have the leakiest defence in the division, conceding 75 goals and having not kept a clean sheet since New Year's Day. 

By contrast, Wigan Athletic have enjoyed a good run of recent form. Despite off-field financial issues, the Latics have won all of their three home games since project restart. Wigan are one of the form sides in the division, having won seven of their previous 10 games. Assuming they will be handed a 12 point penalty at the end of the season, Wigan must keep winning to have any hope of escaping the drop. 

Key Battle:

Wigan have not conceded in their last five home matches, and key to that run is centre-back Cedric Kipre. The stopper has filled in ably for injured compatriot Chey Dunkley, and has been a crucial part of a watertight Latics back line. 

Should Hull wish to breach Wigan's stingy rearguard, they may look to winger Mallik Wilks. The Hull star has enjoyed something of a recent hot streak, netting in three of the Tigers' previous seven away matches.

Previous Meeting:

September 2019 saw an entertaining draw in the reverse fixture. Chey Dunkley's early goal was cancelled out by first half strikes from departed Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki. Hull failed to hold on to their half time advantage, with teenage forward Joe Geldhardt scoring his first senior goal to level the match late on. 

Team News:

For Wigan, Dunkley is still a long-term absentee with a broken leg. Leon Balogun and Michael Jacobs may face fitness tests to determine their match fitness following minor issues. Danny Fox was sent off in their last match against Barnsley, so will be suspended. 

Hull's only notable injury concerns Herbie Kane, who remains on the sidelines. His absence is a blow for the Tigers, as the Liverpool loanee had been performing well before his untimely injury. 

Predicted Lineups:

Wigan (4-2-3-1): Marshall, Robinson, Pearce, Kipre, Byrne, Williams, Morsy, Naismith, Dowell, Lowe, Moore. 

Hull (4-2-3-1): Long, Elder, De Wijs, Burke, MacDonald, Stewart, Da Silva, Wilks, Honeyman, Toral, Magennis. 

Managers Comments:

Grant McCann spoke to BBC Radio Humberside following his team's 1-0 home loss to Millwall:

"It's a big week coming up now with Wigan away and Luton at home so we've got to make sure we're much better than we showed today in the first half.

"One thing that's pleasing me at the minute, yes we haven't scored as many goals in the last two games, but we're creating the chances, we're getting ourselves into dangerous areas, now it's just that little bit of composure for that final cross or shot to take the chance.

"We're going to fight to the end. We will work hard over the next couple of days and make sure sure we can try and get this team, get some response and get over the line."

Wigan's assistant Leam Richardson spoke to Sky Sports, highlighting his side's good run of form and willingness to fight until the end: 

"Since the turn of the year, we are the in-form team in the league so it is up to us to keep our head down and the lads are giving us everything at the minute.

"We have a great changing room and the lads have said in interviews how they have each other's back, they work hard and they cover every blade of grass for each other."

 

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