Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Football League Preview: Wigan eye play-off berth at Birmingham

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Apr 2014


Wigan Athletic can secure their place in the Championship play-offs with a win at woefully out-of-form Birmingham City on Tuesday.

Lee Clark’s side go into the game having lost their last four games – a run that has left them one point from safety.

Birmingham have a vastly superior goal difference compared to their relegation rivals but fans will dread the thought of needing points from a game at St Andrews, where they have not picked up maximum points since October.

With just two wins at home all season, it is the worst record in the league and has put Birmingham in real danger of being relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1993-94.

They entertain a Wigan side with everything to play for. Uwe Rosler’s side looked all set to saunter into the top six but a run of three defeats in four has left them just one point ahead of seventh-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

Defeat at Birmingham would also open up the possibility of a play-off decider between Wigan and Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on the final day, who are lurking three points behind.

The other game in the Championship sees Charlton lock horns with Watford at The Valley.

Jose Riga’s side know a win will guarantee them a third successive season in the Championship and they will rely on the goals of Marvin Sordell, who has hit form at the right time with four in his last two appearances.

Watford’s hopes of a play-off berth have been extinguished with two successive defeats and they will be without defender Marco Cassetti who was sent off at Derby County on Saturday.

In League One, Carlisle United travel to Crawley Town knowing a defeat will condemn them to League Two next season.

Graham Kavanagh’s men are four points from safety and with a trip to champions Wolves awaiting them on the final day, Carlisle will feel that anything less than a win will leave them up against it.

They will have to dramatically improve their away form if they are to have any chance of survival, having won only once on the road in their last 17 trips in all competitions and possessing the second worst away record in League One.

Elsewhere, Sheffield United travel to Oldham Athletic where neither side will have anything other than pride to play for but Nigel Clough’s side will look to end a hugely impressive second half of the season with a flourish and could still leapfrog Swindon Town into seventh.


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