MX23RW : Tuesday, February 18 22:33:08| >> :600:402359:402359:
Feb 15, 2020 at 3pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 21,287
CardiffCardiff City
WiganWigan Athletic
Murphy (8'), Naismith (55' og.)
FT(HT: 1-2)
Moore (5', 45' pen.)

Preview: Cardiff City vs. Wigan Athletic - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Championship fixture between Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic.

Cardiff City head into their fixture with Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon as one of the form teams in the Championship after putting together a six-match unbeaten streak

As for Wigan, they travel to South Wales sitting four points adrift of safety, despite recording seven points from their last four outings.

Match preview

Cardiff boss Neil Harris on February 8, 2020© Reuters

While Neil Harris has received his fair share of criticism since arriving at Cardiff, the recently-appointed boss deserves praise for moving the club into the race for the playoffs.

Although there have been seven draws in their last 16 league games, just two defeats have been recorded, ensuring that the club have made ground on the teams above them.

Since the 6-1 defeat at Queen's Park Rangers on New Year's Day, Cardiff have only conceded three goals in half-a-dozen fixtures - a run which includes clean sheets at Luton Town and Huddersfield Town.

With just four points separating the Bluebirds and the top six, Harris will stress to his players that now is the time to capitalise on the inconsistencies of their rivals, aware that they face three of them in front of their own supporters before the middle of March.

Despite their lowly league position, there is also optimism at the DW Stadium that Wigan have what it takes to get themselves out of trouble before the end of the season.

A 13-match winless streak earlier in the campaign has led to the Latics remaining in the bottom three, but Paul Cook has slowly turned things around since the turn of the year.

Tuesday's comeback draw at home to Middlesbrough took the club's tally to 10 points from seven games in 2020, keeping the pressure on the teams directly above them.

Wigan also have just three of the top six to play before the start of May - a factor which should be taken into consideration when assessing their chances of avoiding the drop down to League One.

Goals continue to be an issue, however, with centre-back Cheyenne Dunkley - suspended for this game - topping the scoring charts with six efforts.

That statistic puts extra responsibility on Kieffer Moore, who has netted just once in five games since returning from injury midway through last month.

Cardiff City Championship form: DDWDWW
Cardiff City (all competitions): DWDDWW

Wigan Athletic Championship form: LLWWLD

Team News

Chey Dunkley celebrates scoring for Wigan Athletic on September 21, 2019© Reuters

With Dunkley absent due to his dismissal against Boro, Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Leon Balogun is expected to make his first start for Wigan.

Teenager Joe Gelhardt could drop out of the starting lineup, potentially for Jamal Lowe who may feature on the right flank, while Lee Evans is an option in the centre of the pitch.

Fewer changes are expected from Cardiff boss Harris, who could decide to retain the same XI which began the game at Huddersfield.

Should he wish to freshen up his attack, Junior Hoilett is a possibility on the flank in place of Albert Adomah.

Callum Paterson should remain down the centre ahead of Robert Glatzel and Danny Ward.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Richards, Nelson, Morrison, Bennett; Vaulks, Pack; Hoilett, Tomlin, Murphy; Paterson

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Byrne, Belogun, Kipre, Naismith; Morsy, Evans; Lowe, Williams, Jacobs; Moore

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We say: Cardiff City 2-1 Wigan Athletic

With the stakes rising for Cardiff, this game may turn into a difficult encounter for the Bluebirds. However, with Wigan having improved of late, there will be no complacency, and it could help the home side grind out a narrow success.

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Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic?

Cardiff City
Wigan Athletic
Cardiff City
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Wigan boss Paul Cook on February 1, 2020
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