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Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers, including team news and predicted lineups.

Wigan Athletic will be looking to put three more points on the board in their battle to avoid relegation as they welcome Queens Park Rangers to the DW Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Latics were placed in administration last week and are now facing a 12-point deduction, meaning that they are in desperate need of victory against mid-table QPR.

Match preview

Wigan Athletic players celebrate after a Stoke City own goal on June 30, 2020© Reuters

Just when Wigan appeared to have turned a corner and secured another season of Championship football, they were rocked by last week's announcement that leaves their second-tier status in doubt.

The Latics are now effectively in a position whereby they must finish 12 points above the relegation zone if they are to avoid relegation almost through no fault of their own.

Saturday's 3-0 reverse at the hands of Brentford came at the worst possible time for Wigan, then, just as they had been building some momentum.

Paul Cook's side entered that game on a three-game winning run without conceding and were unbeaten in nine, but Said Benrahma struck three times without response at Griffin Park.

That loss leaves Athletic six points above Middlesbrough in 22nd place with five games to go, three of those fixtures against sides currently below them in the table.

Queens Park Rangers forward Jordan Hugill celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough on July 5, 2020© Reuters

In many ways, this visit of a QPR with nothing to play for on the face of it could be the easiest of their remaining matches, with the Rs 11 points off the playoffs and nine above the dropzone.

Mark Warburton's side lost their first three games back after last month's restart, including a 2-1 defeat to West London rivals Fulham, but edged out Middlesbrough 1-0 at the weekend.

Jordan Hugill scored the only goal against his boyhood club, injuring himself in the process, to ensure that QPR are clear of danger for good.

The visitors are now looking to win back-to-back games in the Championship for the first time since December 2019, and just a second ever league double over Wigan.

There is no doubt that the Latics are the side most in need of victory, but they have lost five of their last six league encounters with QPR.

Wigan Athletic's Championship form: WDWWWL

Queens Park Rangers' Championship form: DWLLLW

Team News

Joe Garner celebrates scoring for Wigan Athletic on March 16, 2019© Reuters

Joe Garner was sent off in Wigan's defeat to Brentford and will now serve a suspension, starting with this visit of QPR.

The hosts are also without injured trio Cheyenne Dunkley, Gary Roberts and Michael Jacobs for Wednesday's match.

Cook may look to make a change or two given the quick turnaround in games, with Lee Evans in contention to come in for Joe Williams.

As for QPR, they will have to make do without striker Hugill after he injured himself when scoring the winner against Boro.

Aramide Oteh, who has yet to score in five substitute appearances for the Rs in the Championship, is expected to lead the line in Hugill's absence.

Conor Masterson may also return to the XI in place of Osman Kakay in the backline.

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Byrne, Kipre, Balogun, Robinson; Morsy, Evans; Lowe, Dowell, Naismith; Moore

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Kelly; Barbet, Cameron, Masterson; Kane, Ball, Amos, Manning; Eze, Samuel; Oteh

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We say: Wigan Athletic 1-0 Queens Park Rangers

Wigan had won three games in a row before losing last time out, while QPR ended a three game losing run with victory in their most recent outing. That makes this one tough to call, though we are tipping the hosts to edge it at the DW Stadium.

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Brentford's Said Benrahma celebrates scoring against Wigan Athletic on July 4, 2020
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Thomas Frank hails Said Benrahma after hat-trick against Wigan

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