Oct 3, 2013 at 8.05pm UK at ​DW Stadium
WiganWigan Athletic
Powell (22', 90'), Watson (34')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Tavares (60')
Mendy (72')

Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Maribor

Wigan Athletic manager Owen Coyle prior to kick-off against Doncaster on August 20, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League Group D clash between Wigan Athletic and Maribor.

Wigan Athletic will attempt to record their first Group D victory when they welcome Maribor in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Championship outfit opened their campaign with a fairly forgettable goalless draw against Zulte Waregem, but Maribor are still looking for their first points after losing 5-2 to Rubin Kazan.

The meeting in England will be the first time that the two sides have clashed in a European competition. Maribor have previously faced English opposition on four separate occasions, but are yet to record a win, suffering three defeats in the process.

Maribor are certainly the more experienced side at this level of football having reached the group stages of the competition for the fourth time, but they are yet to progress from the group stages. Wigan, who secured their spot in the Europa League by winning the English FA Cup last season, are in their first European campaign.

The home side have made a fairly lacklustre start to life in the second tier of English football with 11 points from their eight matches leaving them in 13th position. On the other hand, Maribor currently top the leading division in Slovenia with 23 points from their 11 matches thus far.

Wigan boss Owen Coyle has no new fresh injury concerns from their defeat to Watford in the Championship at the weekend and could continue with Marc-Antoine Fortune in attack.

On-loan Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell is also pushing for selection, but could drop to the bench with Callum McManaman operating on the opposite wing to James McClean.

Maribor, meanwhile, are expected to have Brazilian striker Marcos Tavares leading their line. Nusmir Fajic, who scored in their defeat to Rubin in their opening group match, is also set to start in attack.

Recent form

Wigan: LDWLL

Maribor: WLLDL

Possible starting lineups

Wigan: Carson; Shotton, Rogne, Perch, Barnett; Watson, Gomez, McArthur; McClean, Fortune, McManaman

Maribor: Handanovic; Rajcevic, Mejac, Trajikovski, Cvijanovic; Mezga, Mertelj, Filipovic, Mendy; Tavares, Fajic

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Waford boss Gianfranco Zola during the match against Nottingham Forest on August 25, 2013
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