Both teams are currently two points adrift of their main objectives for the season: in Wigan's case, that means surviving relegation, and for Ipswich that entails finishing within the playoff positions.
It has certainly been a tumultuous time for Wigan both on and off the pitch in recent seasons, with financial difficulties condemning them to relegation to League One last season, despite Paul Cook guiding them to 13th in the table prior to the 12-point deduction they received for entering administration.
Indeed, since spectacularly winning the FA Cup while being relegated from the Premier League in the same season in 2012-13, Wigan have already bounced straight back from League One to the Championship on two separate occasions.
However, given the turmoil at the club and turnover in playing staff, that never looked a likely proposition this time around, with the Latics now instead faced with the prospect of competing in the fourth tier of English football for the first time in 25 seasons.
After gaining seven points in three matches prior to last weekend's trip to Accrington Stanley, there appeared to be signs of a revival at the club, especially after their top goalscorer Callum Lang's opener within the first minute, but they soon crashed back down to earth with a 3-1 defeat to the playoff hopefuls.
There will certainly be added motivation within the Wigan ranks on Saturday, though, with Cook having taken over as Ipswich manager at the beginning of this month.
Richardson was the 54-year-old's assistant during Cook's successful three years at the club, but any friendship will be put aside during the 90 minutes with three crucial points to fight for.
Having replaced the unpopular Paul Lambert in the Ipswich dugout, Cook would have been hoping for a better start to his new job ahead of Saturday's trip to his former stomping ground.
Indeed, four points from five matches represents a poor return for a club chasing a playoff position, with last weekend's 2-1 defeat against rivals Portsmouth potentially damaging to the Tractor Boys' chances.
Like Wigan during their defeat to Accrington, Ipswich took a first-half lead via their top goalscorer James Norwood, who was restored to the starting XI by Cook after the striker endured a difficult relationship with Lambert.
However, of Ipswich's next five fixtures, four of them currently lie in the relegation places in the table, so there is a real opportunity for Cook to lay down a marker at the DW Stadium on Saturday and begin to build some momentum, as the club looks to return to a level in the English football pyramid more befitting of their illustrious history and 30,000 capacity stadium.
Ipswich, meanwhile, were boosted by the return of long-term absentee Kane Vincent-Young in the defeat to Portsmouth, but Cook may ease the full-back into matters from the bench once again, given that it was the 25-year-old's first appearance since November 2019 after being plagued by Achilles, calf and knee issues.
Defender James Wilson is a strong doubt for the game, though, after having fluid drained from his knee, while Mark McGuinness and Troy Parrott will definitely miss out due to being on international duty.
Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Jones; Darikwa, Wootton, Tilt, Robinson; Dodoo, Johnston, Ojo, Evans, Gardner; Lang
Ipswich Town possible starting lineup:
Holy; Chambers, Nsiala, Woolfenden, Ward; Skuse, Dozzell; Edwards, Bishop, Judge; Norwood
We say: Wigan Athletic 1-2 Ipswich Town
We expect a closely-fought affair between two sides in desperate need of a victory, but Cook's quality at his disposal could help him gain the edge on his former club.
A win could take Wigan out of the bottom four or Ipswich into the top six depending on results elsewhere, so there is certainly plenty to play for even without the added edge of Cook taking on his former assistant Richardson.