Wigan vs Huddersfield: Latics look to move above relegation rivals with win in Maloney’s first home match

Wigan Athletic welcome fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town to the DW Stadium on Saturday in a crucial relegation six pointer.

The Latics come into this fixture fresh off the back of a draw with local rivals Blackburn Rovers in Shaun Maloney’s first match in charge of the club who he made 49 Premier League appearances for.   

Former Wigan FA Cup winner Maloney, who took charge of Wigan in January, faces the task of making up three points to take the Tics out of the bottom three.

After handing Kolo Toure his first managerial role, Wigan sacked the former Arsenal and Manchester City Premier League winner after nine matches with the side winless and bottom of the table.

Maloney’s men will be looking at this clash as an opportunity to build their confidence and record a first win since November. Three points could lift Wigan off the foot of the table and turn the survival tide in their favour.

Wigan will be without new signing Martin Kelly who came off injured on Monday, despite putting in a Man of the Match performance on his debut. Jason Kerr and Callum Lang will also miss out through injury. 

Meanwhile, The Terriers will have interim manager Narcís Pèlach in charge after sacking Mark Fotheringham on Wednesday following a disappointing collapse to Blackpool the night before.

After going 2-1 up at Bloomfield Road in the 86th minute following Josh Koroma’s strike, 10-man Blackpool levelled in the last minute when Josh Bowler scored his first goals for the Tangerines since returning on loan from Nottingham Forest.

Huddersfield sit 22nd in the league, having only won one of their last seven league games which came in a 2-1 Boxing Day win at Preston North End and they will be without Yuta Nakayama and Lee Nichols who are injured. 

In the second half of the season, these relegation battles are important for setting the tone for the rest of the season. Wigan will be aiming to build momentum under Maloney, and complete a league double over Town after a 2-1 win at the John Smith’s Stadium.