MX23RW : Thursday, July 9 02:25:19| >> :120:17390:17390:

Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Bournemouth

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship meeting between struggling Wigan and league leaders Bournemouth at the DW Stadium.

Top of the table meets second from bottom in the Championship this weekend as Bournemouth travel to face Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

The Cherries maintained their spot at the summit last Friday as they eased to a win over Watford, who were reduced to 10 men inside one minute at Dean Court.

The sending-off was a questionable decision and, by Eddie Howe's own admission, changed the game, but his side still put in another impressive performance to return to winning ways following back-to-back defeats.

Both of those losses came on the road, but Bournemouth are still able to boast the best away record in the Championship this season having amassed 27 points on their travels - the same as they have managed in front of their own fans.

Making the trip to the DW Stadium will not faze them, then, but Howe will be keen to ensure that complacency does not creep in having seen his side lose to struggling Leeds United in their last away league outing.

Their record at Wigan is not great either, having lost six and won none of their last nine visits, although the gulf between the two clubs will have rarely been as big as it is currently.

Bournemouth are the league's top scorers this season and have scored more second-half goals (34) than Wigan have managed in total (26) so far.

Howe was unsuccessful in his attempts to bring highly-rated youngster Demarai Gray to the club during the January transfer window, but will trust his current crop of players to fire the team to promotion following their brilliant campaign so far.

Indeed, he could name an unchanged side for this match, with Yann Kermorgant likely to keep his place having scored and hit the bar during the win over Watford.

Bournemouth will need to be wary of a Wigan side who had their own minor say on the title race last week, holding high-flyers Ipswich Town to a surprise goalless draw at Portman Road.

Despite that being a good result for the Latics, it did little to help their situation, with most of those around them in table picking up victories. They now sit just two points off the bottom and seven adrift of safety, with relegation to League One looking increasingly likely.

Wigan are without a win in six now and have only won once in their last 15 matches in all competitions, with Malky Mackay's appointment failing to have the desired effect at the club.

Their quest for survival was made even harder by a number of first-team players leaving the club in January and, although Mackay was fairly busy on transfer deadline day, their precarious position has certainly not been helped by the overhaul of players.

If they are to stay in the Championship this season, Wigan simply have to improve their dire home form. They have picked up just one point from the last 15 available and haven't won in front of their own fans since August.

Indeed, no team has amassed fewer home points in the Championship than Wigan, while their tally of two victories is also the worst in the league.

Ali Al-Habsi is likely to keep his place in goal this weekend having kept a clean sheet against Ipswich, while there could be debuts for the likes of Jason Pearce and Billy McKay.

Wigan:

Form in Championship: WLLDLD
Form in all competitions: LLLDLD

Possible starting lineup: Al Habsi; Perch, Pearce, Ridgewell, Taylor; McClean, Huws, McCann, Waghorn; Cowie; McKay

Bournemouth:

Form in Championship: WWLWLW
Form in all competitions: WLWLLW

Possible starting lineup: Boruc; Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels; Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Pugh; Kermorgant, Wilson

Sports Mole says: 0-2

ID:203670:

Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Wigan and Bournemouth?

Wigan
Draw
Bournemouth
Wigan
16.4%
Draw
6.6%
Bournemouth
77.0%
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom422214673403380
2Leeds UnitedLeeds41239963342978
3Brentford422291175344175
4Fulham4221101156441273
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest4218141054421268
6Cardiff CityCardiff421616106054664
7Swansea CitySwansea421615115549663
8Preston North EndPreston421710155551461
9Derby CountyDerby421613135655161
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn421611155955459
11Millwall421417114846259
12Bristol City421610165561-658
13Reading421411175348553
14Queens Park RangersQPR42158196067-753
15Wigan AthleticWigan421411174653-753
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds421410185159-852
17Birmingham CityBirmingham421213175267-1549
18Middlesbrough421114174253-1147
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield421211194963-1447
20Stoke CityStoke41137215461-746
21Charlton AthleticCharlton421210204757-1046
22Hull City42129215774-1745
23Barnsley421012204667-2142
24Luton TownLuton42118234779-3241

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