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Feb 28, 2015 at 3pm UK at Bloomfield Road
WiganWigan Athletic
Madine (85')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Bo Kyung (45'), Maguire (67'), McClean (79')

Preview: Blackpool vs. Wigan Athletic

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship basement battle between Blackpool and Wigan Athletic at Bloomfield Road.

The Championship's bottom two clubs will meet in a must-win clash at Bloomfield Road this Saturday as Blackpool host Wigan Athletic.

Many would already consider the ill-fated duo to be dead and buried, but victory this weekend is imperative for either side to cling on to their slim survival hopes.

The home side currently prop up the rest of the table - as they have done for the vast majority of the campaign - but could move level on points with their opponents with a victory.

A 12-point gap currently separates them from safety with 13 matches left to play, however, and it would take the most unlikely of escapes for the Tangerines to be playing Championship football next season.

Lee Clark's side were on the end of yet another drubbing in midweek, with Jon Toral's hat-trick inspiring Brentford to a 4-0 victory at Griffin Park in a match that also saw Blackpool's Charles Dunne sent off just before half time, ruling him out of this weekend's game.

That was the sixth time this season that the Seasiders have conceded four or more goals in a game and the third time they have done so in an ongoing five-match winless streak that has seen them ship 15 goals and pick up only two points.

The defeat could prove to be doubly damaging due to a rib injury sustained by Jamie O'Hara, although Clark is still hopeful of having the midfielder fit in time for the weekend.

Tom Aldred is also a doubt having been subbed off after just 25 minutes, with Clark opting to change the shape of his team following two early goals.

Andrea Orlandi is still expected to be sidelined for the match, but Darren O'Dea could return to the starting lineup having sat on the bench in midweek.

While Blackpool's plight was somewhat predictable, Wigan's struggles this season have taken everybody by surprise and the prospect of relegation has been a reality for some time now.

The Latics, who were tipped by many to challenge for automatic promotion, are nine points away from safety and would need a remarkable run of form themselves to escape danger.

Malky Mackay will know that three points this weekend are vital for them to stand any chance, but the Scot has only managed two wins during his time at the helm so far.

Wigan have picked up just five points from the last 30 available in the league and have lost eight of their 11 games in all competitions since Boxing Day.

However, three of their five league victories this season have come on the road, including their most recent away match as they edged a 1-0 win over Reading.

That goal is their solitary one in their last four outings and one of only four in their last 11 games in all competitions, however, with the Latics drawing a blank once again in defeat to Mackay's former club Cardiff City on Tuesday.

Mackay was unhappy with two disallowed goals during that match, but the manager was pleased with the contribution made by Emmerson Boyce on his return to the starting lineup, while Jermaine Pennant and Gaetan Bong also drew praise for their debut performances.

All three could have earned another starting role this weekend, but William Kvist is still sidelined. Some good news for the club this week was that Leon Clarke could be fit again before the end of the season, but he will not be available on Saturday.


Recent form: WLLDDL

Possible starting lineup: Lewis; McMahon, O'Dea, Clarke, Hall; Perkins, Rothwell, O'Hara; Davies, Delfouneso


Recent form: DLLWLL

Possible starting lineup: Al Habsi; Boyce, Maguire, Pearce, Bong; Pennant, Perch, Kim, Ojo; McClean, Fortune

Sports Mole says: 2-2

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Wigan Athletic Manager Malky Mackay gestures during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough at DW Stadium on November 22, 2014
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