The Tykes are four points from safety with four games to play, while Wigan are eight points clear of the drop but face a possible 12-point deduction for entering administration.
On the back of a 4-0 home thrashing at the hands of Stoke City, the last thing Barnsley needed was to lose Wednesday's relegation six-pointer with Luton Town.
That looked as though it was going to be the case when Luke Berry scored his first goal of the season for Luton inside the opening 13 minutes.
Barnsley fought back in the battle between the bottom two, however, and salvaged a crucial point through substitute Aapo Halme's poked finish six minutes from time at Kenilworth Road.
The draw will be seen as a big opportunity missed, though with Charlton Athletic losing to Brentford on Tuesday it means that the gap on safety is still four points.
Gerhard Struber's side have an extremely tough end to the season, though, as they face Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Brentford in their final three matches.
This visit of Wigan is surely in the 'must-win' category for Barnsley, then, with the Latics in relegation bother of their own.
On the field, Athletic have been in fine form since the restart, winning four of their five matches to move up to 15th place.
An eight-point buffer on the dropzone would usually mean Wigan could afford to switch off at this point, but that is not the case due to off-the-field matters.
The club were placed into administration last week and are now in a position whereby they will likely have to finish 12 points clear of the drop to avoid relegation.
For that to happen three more points will be required at Oakwell this weekend, a ground that they are unbeaten at in their last five league visits.
Indeed, Athletic have lost just one of the last 11 league matches overall between the sides and will see this as a big opportunity to boost their survival hopes.
Barnsley's Championship form: LWDWLD
Wigan Athletic's Championship form: DWWWLW
Halme scored two minutes after replacing Conor Chaplin against Luton and may have earned himself a starting spot for Saturday's huge clash.
Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Andersen, Williams; Ludewig, Mowatt, Thomas, Ritzmaier; Woodrow; Brown, Halme
Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Byrne, Kipre, Fox, Robinson; Williams, Morsy; Naismith, Dowell, Lowe; Moore
We say: Barnsley 1-2 Wigan Athletic
Wigan were beaten heavily by Brentford in their most recent away outing but have not lost back-to-back on their travels since October. Cook's men have been in good form overall since the restart and we are backing them to all but condemn Barnsley to the drop this weekend.