Wigan Athletic are staring relegation in the face after a disappointing campaign in the Championship this year. Latics have struggled for the majority of the season but may have been handed a minor miracle to avoid the drop. Wigan sit 23rd but after a points deduction only lie 2 points behind 21st placed Rotherham United, who also have a game in hand over Gary Caldwell’s side.
The Latics have played under three managers this year and lost a number of key players in the January transfer window, but they have shown resilience and earned a vital win over Brighton last weekend to give themselves a chance of avoiding the drop. We take a look at Wigan’s remaining fixtures and discuss their chances of pulling off the ‘great escape’ and avoiding relegation down to the third tier of English football.
They face two playoff contenders
Wigan will have to beat two playoff contenders – Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford – if they want to secure their Championship status, while also relying on help from other sides.
These teams will be full of confidence and, although it appears that Watford are going to secure automatic promotion in their next fixture against Brighton, the remaining playoff positions and automatic spots are up for grabs. Wolves and Brentford will be keen to win their remaining matches and pile the pressure on the other sides in the hunt.
Rotherham have a game in hand
Steve Evans’ side require just two points from their last three matches to relegate Wigan, while three points will also condemn Millwall to the drop as well. Although they have a game in hand, the Millers face some difficult opponents and cannot afford to take their foot off the gas.
Rotherham have back-to-back home matches against high-flying Norwich and a Reading side that will still be reflecting on their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal. Their final match of the season, an away trip to Leeds United, is certainly winnable but Rotherham will look to take full advantage of their fixtures at New York Stadium and avoid relegation at the first time of asking.
It will take some doing, but Wigan can pull off the great escape. They will require some help but the players showed their commitment in the victory over Brighton and they are more than capable of producing shock victories if they perform at a similar level against Wolves and Brentford.
It will certainly be difficult, but if the Latics win their remaining two matches then they will stand a good chance of surviving relegation down to League One.