Preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Wigan Athletic

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Huddersfield and playoff-chasing Wigan.

Three Championship defeats in a row seem to have put paid to any hopes Huddersfield Town had of reaching the playoffs this season.

Town now sit 13 points and eight places off the top six having won just once and lost four times in 2014 so far, leaving them set for a midtable finish this season.

Mark Robins's side are equally unlikely to be dragged into a relegation battle, although they will need to pick themselves up after blowing a one-goal lead to lose 5-1 to Leeds United in a Yorkshire derby last Saturday.

Huddersfield have been largely inconsistent so far this season, although they have established themselves as a tough team to beat at home, with only three visiting teams winning at the John Smith's Stadium in the league.

Nahki Wells is expected to start up front once again for the hosts as top scorer James Vaughan continues his recovery from injury, while Peter Clarke and Joel Lynch are all also doubts.

In contrast to Huddersfield, Wigan's playoff hopes are still very alive thanks to a quick response to their first defeat under manager Uwe Rosler.

The Latics have won two games and drawn another since their shock 3-0 loss to Doncaster Rovers, leaving them seven points behind sixth-placed Reading with two games in hand.

Rosler's record as Wigan boss now stands at just one defeat in 12 matches in all competitions, and if he can keep that form up until the end of the season then they would have a great chance of making the playoffs.

They have only lost one of their last five matches on their travels in all competitions, but a minor concern could be that they haven't scored on the road in their last two games.

Long-term absentees Shaun Maloney and Gary Caldwell remain out, but Nick Powell should return to the side to start alongside Nicky Maynard for the first time.

Recent form

Huddersfield: WWLLLL

Wigan: WWLWDW

Possible starting lineups

Huddersfield: Smithies; Wallace, Gerrard, Smith; Hammill, Clayton, Hogg, Norwood, Dixon; Wells, Ward

Wigan: Al-Habsi; Perch, Barnett, Boyce, Beausejour; McArthur, Watson; McClean, Powell, McManaman; Maynard

Sports Mole says: 1-2

New manager of Wigan Athletic, Uwe Rosler, looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic at Hillsborough Stadium on December 18, 2013
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