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Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Luton Town - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Luton Town - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Championship game between Wigan Athletic and Luton Town.

Wigan Athletic head into their crucial encounter with Luton Town having put together a three-match winning streak in the Championship.

However, bottom-of-the-table side Luton can reduce the gap to the Latics to just three points with victory at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Match preview

At one stage this season, it appears that Wigan and Luton would be left cut adrift in the relegation zone after hugely disappointing efforts during the first half of the campaign

However, the Latics and the Hatters now have a realistic chance of retaining their second-tier statuses against the odds after their respective recent revivals.

Wigan have recorded five victories and two draws from their last eight league matches, which includes three wins in a row against Millwall, Reading and West Bromwich Albion.

The most recent success at The Hawthorns was all the more impressive due to the absence of key defender Cheyenne Dunkley, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken leg.

Wigan also have three successive shutouts to their name having previously registered just one in their previous 11 outings.

Much of Luton's success has also come down to a strong backline with just five goals being conceded in as many fixtures, three of which came in the same game against Charlton Athletic.

That defeat at The Valley has proven to be just a minor blip, with three wins and 10 points being recorded from their other four matches.

The most important result of that period arguably came last week as James Collins netted a last-minute penalty to earn a share of the spoils against Stoke City, a result which ensured that the 21st-placed Potters remain just five points ahead of Luton heading into the weekend.

Wigan Athletic Championship form: LDDWWW

Luton Town Championship form: WWWLWD

Team News

With Dunkley sidelined, Paul Cook will be hoping that Leon Balogun can shake off the injury which forced his withdrawal against West Brom.

Should the Brighton & Hove Albion loanee miss out, Kal Naismith is in line to feature in the middle of the defence.

The remainder of the team may remain the same, although Michael Jacobs is pushing for a recall in the final third.

Luton boss Graeme Jones must decide whether he is prepared to play with two in attack for a trip to one of their rivals.

Winger Callum McManaman, on his return to Wigan, is an option if Jones drops one of Collins or Harry Cornick.

Central midfielder George Moncur is also pushing for just his second league start of the season.

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Byrne, Kipre, Balogun, Pearce; Williams, Morsy; Lowe, Roberts, Massey; Moore

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Cranie, Pearson, Carter-Vickers, Potts; Mpanzu, Rea, Tunnicliffe; Brown, McManaman, Collins

We say: Wigan Athletic 2-1 Luton Town

While you cannot write off Luton in this contest, it is equally hard to back against Wigan right now. Cook's men are third in the Championship form table, and we feel that they will show the cutting edge required to see off the Hatters.

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2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom402014667382974
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6Cardiff CityCardiff40151695751661
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11Blackburn RoversBlackburn401511145550556
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13Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds401410164954-552
14Wigan AthleticWigan401311164550-550
15Queens Park RangersQPR40148185966-750
17Birmingham CityBirmingham401213155163-1249
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19Hull City40129195468-1445
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield40129194963-1445
22Stoke CityStoke40127215061-1143
24Luton TownLuton40117224673-2740
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