Mar 22, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​DW Stadium
WiganWigan Athletic
Beausejour (40'), Waghorn (57')
Waghorn (60')
FT(HT: 1-1)
McGugan (36')
Tozser (58'), Diakite (83'), Ekstrand (89')

Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Watford

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship encounter between playoff-chasing Wigan and Watford.

It is hard to imagine how Wigan Athletic's eight-match winning streak could have come to a more dramatic end than their 3-3 draw at home to Yeovil Town on Tuesday.

The Latics led 1-0 in the 81st minute having already missed a penalty in the first half, but five goals were shared late on, with Yeovil taking the lead before Wigan got it back, only for the Glovers to snatch a point deep into stoppage time.

They will need to bounce back from the disappointment of having three points snatched from their grasp when they host Watford at the DW Stadium this Saturday.

A return to winning ways will be Uwe Rosler's sole objective this weekend as he looks to continue his side's charge up the table and consolidate a place in the top six.

They are now three points clear of Reading and Brighton & Hove Albion in seventh and eight respectively, while they have the luxury of a game in hand over the Royals to further strengthen their position.

However, Rosler will know that any slip-up will be gleefully pounced upon by the chasing pack, so the dropped points against Yeovil will need to be banished from their memory by the time they run out this weekend.

Despite that draw, Wigan are still in fine form and have now gone nine matches unbeaten - a run that includes FA Cup victories away to Manchester City and Cardiff as well as a number of impressive league performances.

There is no doubt that the Latics are the form team in the league - even more so than leaders Leicester City - and if they can maintain that until the end of the season then they must enter the playoffs as favourites to go up.

They have certainly done the business in front of their own fans recently, remaining unbeaten in their last 10 home games in all competitions, with their last defeat at the DW Stadium coming on December 1.

However, Wigan have not beaten Watford in their last seven meetings in all competitions, and they will once again be without Shaun Maloney, Gary Caldwell, Ben Watson, Chris McCann and James Perch as they look to rectify that.

Watford, meanwhile, will be resigned to the fact that the playoffs are looking increasingly unlikely with every passing week.

The Hornets are now nine points behind sixth-placed Nottingham Forest and, while they have a game in hand and a number of teams in the top six are stuttering, it would take a highly unlikely set of results for them to make a late charge.

Instead, manager Giuseppe Sannino is more likely to be focusing on building his side up for next season, when they can look to mount a playoff charge from the off.

Inconsistency is one of the issues that he will need to address having seen his side lose two, win two and draw one of their last five games in the league.

Perhaps his biggest task will be turning around Watford's fortunes on their travels, however. They have not won on the road in their last 13 attempts in all competitions, although nine of those games have ended all square.

The visitors will be without the suspended Mathias Ranegie for the match, while new boy Lucas Neill will likely have to settle for a place on the bench.

Recent form


Watford: WDLWLW

Possible starting lineups

Wigan: Al-Habsi; Rogne, Barnett, Boyce, Crainey; McArthur, Tunnicliffe; McClean, Gomez, Waghorn; Fortune

Watford: Almunia; Doyley, Cassetti, Angella; Faraoni, McGugan, Battochio, Tozser, Pudil; Deeney, Anya

Sports Mole says: 3-0

Wigan manager Uwe Rosler celebrates with the fans after the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic at Cardiff City Stadium on February 15, 2014
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