Tomorrow’s game at Wigan is Town’s 2,000th on their travels, and 4,000th in all, and Mark Robins’ men should be in good heart after that 3-2 victory over Leeds.

It was achieved without four regulars in James Vaughan, Martin Paterson, Adam Clayton and Anthony Gerrard.

And while top scorer Vaughan, who remains suspended for the next two games, will certainly be absent in the town famed for it’s tasty pies, fans will wait to see whether the other three return.

They were dropped for last week’s derby, Town’s 2,000th home league game, but that didn’t hamper the bid for a first victory in six Championship outings.

It was a spirited show from Town, now up in ninth place, with Robins’ men proving they can scrap as well as pass the ball to the manager’s liking.

Key to the John Smith’s contest was the grip taken in midfield, where Jonathan Hogg and Keith Southern, making his first league appearance of the season, provided the bite.

 

Town also created a succession of chances, but what are the chances of them being able to concede another two goals tomorrow and still come up smiling?

They face a side who are unbeaten home in eight games in all competitions since dropping out of the Premier League last season.

The FA Cup success which accompanied relegation – Town were beaten 4-1 in round five, of course – catapulted the Latics into the Europa League.

That has left them with a busy schedule, and while Town have had a week without competitive action, Owen Coyle’s 13th-placed side took on high-flying QPR on Wednesday.

The outcome was a second successive goalless draw – after Saturday’s visit to Charlton – and a plea from the boss that his team start taking their chances.

Wigan might be missing some big players through injury, Scotland international midfielder Shaun Maloney and keepers Scott Carson and Ali Al Habsi, among them.

But Lee Nicholls, 21, has responded with two clean sheets while Aston Villa’s Marc Albrighton has been recruited on loan.

The midfielder was the 13th signing made by Coyle since he replaced Everton-bound Roberto Martinez during the close-season, a sign of the changearound since relegation.

Talented midfielder James McCarthy, who cost Martinez £13m, and striker Arouna Kone, a £6m buy for the Toffees, are among those to leave.

But there is still plenty of power in the Wigan squad, with rugged striker Grant Holt and on-loan Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell obvious dangers.

There's likely to be plenty of experience in the dug-outs at the DW Stadium tomorrow.

While Town will have 42-year-old Ian Bennett (pictured right) in their bench, Wigan’s back-up keeper could well be Mike Pollitt, 41.

Home boss Owen Coyle is without both Ali Al Habsi and Scott Carson through injury.

There has been talk of a loan signing, but Lee Nicholls, 21, has responded to his sudden call-up by keeping two clean sheets.

The Latics youth product, who has an England Under 19 cap, has bounced back since his baptism of fire in the Capital One Cup third-round tie at Manchester City, who won 5-0 in September.

Nicholls has had loan stints at Accrington and Northampton, where he spent the whole of last season and featured in the 3-0 League II play-off final defeat by Bradford at Wembley.

Pollitt played against Town this season while on loan at Barnsley, helping the Reds to a 2-1 win at Oakwell in August.

Wigan Athletic v Huddersfield Town: Home fan Lee Edwards’ view

How are you feeling about this season?

Still unsure. Happy with the European campaign and I am hoping it continues after the group stage. Promotion back to the Premier League will be a difficult one but I’m not overly bothered if we can go further in Europe. It’s also nice having a good home record!

What would represent a successful season?

Play-offs and knockout stages of the Europa League.

Who is the dangerman for your club?

Nick Powell. He has been blowing hot and cold from match to match but when he is hot he is very dangerous. I rate him an outside bet for the England World Cup squad.

What's the on-field weak link for your club?

Ben Watson. FA Cup hero but that is the only thing he has done.

What's your view on Huddersfield Town?

They are looking a good side and I am surprised with their early league position. James Vaughan is a good player, so we’re pleased he is suspended!

Wigan Athletic v Huddersfield Town: All the stats

Town have played Wigan away on 12 occasions winning five, drawing one and losing six. Ten of these have been league fixtures with two more in the Football League Trophy. They narrowly trail the Latics 14-16 on goals scored.

Town's first trip to Wigan was in the Fourth Division (League II) in February, 1979 and ended in a 2-1 defeat. Ian Robins, left, scored for Mick Buxton’s men but a Noel Ward double gave the home side the points before a crowd of 7,420.

Town's biggest score at Wigan, a 3-1 victory, came in September 1991 when Phil Starbuck (2) and Iwan Roberts, left, wiped out Gary Powell’s goal for the Latics. Town, under Eoin Hand, went second in the Third Division (League I).

The last time Town visited Wigan was in December, 2002 when a goal by Canadian international Jason de Vos (left, amber shirt) settled it 1-0. Just 6,013 saw Wigan go four points clear at the top of Division II (League I). Town were 23rd.

Wigan Athletic v Huddersfield Town: How the bookies see it

Town snapped their winless sequence in a five-goal derby thriller against Leeds, but they aren’t expected to follow up with another victory at Wigan, at least in the bookies’ eyes.

Stan James make them odds-on at 5/6 to suffer a third defeat in four while BetVictor chalk Mark Robins’ men up at 19/5 to inflict a first home loss of the season on the Latics.

Bet365 rate the stalemate at 5/2, it’s 7/2 via Paddy Power to end in a score draw and more specifically, Ladbrokes quote 7/1 for the clash to finish 1-1.

The unpredictable hosts, however, aren’t exactly in outstanding form, having won just one of their last four in the Championship.

And with Town on a high having beaten their West Yorkshire rivals last Saturday, an away success shouldn’t be ruled out.

A case can be made for a 2-1 Town victory at 15/1 (BetVictor), Stan James offer huge odds of 50/1 about a more comfortable 3-1 triumph and the latter will definitely appeal to backers of Robins’ charges in William Hill’s handicaps, where they start a goal behind at 9/1.

Less specifically, Skybet combine a Town triumph with both teams finding the net at 7/1 (on its own, betway rate the two sides at 4/5 to find the net) and a visiting win by one is a 5/2 chance at bet365.

Meanwhile, Town dominance in the shape of a half-time and full-time advantage is 7/1 at Winner.com, BetVictor quote Robins’ side at 23/10 to net inside 38 minutes and they’re 8/5 (Stan James) to break the deadlock.

That opener finally, is 10/1 with bet365 to be struck by Saturday’s match winner Jon Stead.

Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com

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