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As we approach the final months of the season, Latics fans aren’t the only ones anxiously gazing at the bottom half of the Championship table. Realistically, as many as four teams currently occupying ‘safe’ positions could be dragged into the bottom three come the season’s end.
Presently, it’s Wigan, Luton and Barnsley occupying those slots, though all three sides have picked up points in recent outings. Barnsley have taken a victory and a draw from their last three, Luton have won their last two, while Latics have lost just one of the last five.
Not safe yet
The picture above is equally blurred as teams show promise but struggle for consistency. With 41 points to their name – 10 more than Wigan – Hull probably have enough in the tank to keep them away from the mire, although the Humberside outfit have taken just two points from the last 15 available.
Four points adrift of the Tigers are Middlesbrough, who have also failed to find victory in their last five matches, and they’re only a point clear of Charlton, who have managed to secure vital points in recent weeks courtesy of wins against Barnsley and Nottingham Forest.
Lyle Taylor grabbed a vital goal as Charlton pulled clear of the bottom three – denting Nottingham Forest’s automatic promotion hopes
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) February 11, 2020
After Charlton come Huddersfield, who were relegated from the Premier League only last year and have somehow found it tough transitioning to life back in the Championship. The Terriers have picked up points during the last month, but not enough to ease their fears of a second consecutive demotion. Two points behind them are another recently relegated side. Stoke appeared to have turned a corner following the appointment of Michael O’Neill as their new manager, but despite an upturn of form following the former Northern Ireland boss’s arrival, the Potters have suffered something of a slump during the last few weeks and are just three points clear of the Latics.
The bottom three
Having taken eight points from our last five matches, Wigan’s own form is at least helping us remain in the race for survival and our inconsistency appears to be in lockstep with those above us in the ladder. Even Luton and Barnsley have shown they’re not ready to give up the ghost just yet, after having been written off in the markets available in football betting from Space Casino following poor first halves to the season. The Tykes recorded an incredible 3-0 victory away at Fulham earlier this month and have been competitive in the majority of fixtures since the turn of the new year.
😲 Who saw this coming? 👊 Fulham were joint second until Barnsley came and beat them 3-0 to boost their survival hopes! ⚽️ @CauleyWoodrow scored twice either side of @jacob_browny8‘s strike! @BarnsleyFC pic.twitter.com/FSlHjBmnRq — Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) February 16, 2020
Luton, meanwhile, are up there with some of the competition’s form teams having won three of their last five, including their last two fixtures. Only a handful of teams have better recent records than the Hatters and if their momentum continues then they too could find themselves clear of danger.
All to play for
With 13 fixtures of the season remaining, there are few who could safely predict the three to go down and, as is typical at this time of the year, the form guide will become increasingly less important as teams battling relegation find that extra gear in key contests.
With 39 points still to play for and little in it in the lower reaches of the table, the Latics are going all out in our aim to secure Championship status for another year.
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