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Jan 29, 2022 at 3pm UK
CheltenhamCheltenham Town
WiganWigan Athletic

Williams (38')
Williams (90+2')

Shinnie (45+2'), McClean (89')

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

:Headline: Preview: Cheltenham Town vs. Wigan Athletic - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Cheltenham Town and Wigan Athletic, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Wigan Athletic will be bidding to make it five League One victories in a row when they continue their promotion charge away to lowly Cheltenham Town on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors are currently top of the table, level on points with second-placed Sunderland, who have played four games more, while Cheltenham occupy 18th position in the third tier of English football.

Match preview

Cheltenham's winless run in League One stretched to nine matches on Saturday afternoon when they lost 1-0 away to Rotherham United, with the defeat following three straight draws against Oxford United, Burton Albion and Charlton Athletic.

A record of seven wins, 10 draws and 10 defeats from 27 matches has seen the reigning League Two champions collect 31 points, which has left them in 18th position in the table, just four points clear of the relegation zone.

Cheltenham have not been victorious in League One since beating Gillingham on November 23, but they have thus far managed to stay out of the relegation zone, which is currently occupied by Morecambe, Crewe Alexandra, Gillingham and Doncaster Rovers.

Michael Duff's side have won five, drawn five and lost four of their 14 home league games this season to collect 20 points, but they will be coming up against a Wigan side with the best away record in League One this term, collecting 31 points from 12 matches on their travels.

Wigan's position at the top of League One is even more impressive considering that they have only played 24 league games this season due to a number of postponements; the Latics are level on points with second-placed Sunderland but with four games in hand on the Black Cats.

The 2012-13 FA Cup winners finished 20th in League One last season but look capable of being champions this season, and their recent form across all competitions has been excellent.

Indeed, Leam Richardson's side have won each of their last seven matches in all competitions, including a 3-2 success over Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup earlier this month, while they will enter this game off the back of a 1-0 victory over Arsenal Under-21s in the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy.

Wigan, as mentioned, have also won their last four in the league, including a 3-2 success over Gillingham last weekend, with Will Keane netting a brace to make it 14 League One goals for the campaign.

The Latics, who have not played Premier League football since 2012-13, are unbeaten in the league since the end of October and certainly appear to be on course for a return to the Championship.

Cheltenham Town League One form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

Wigan Athletic League One form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Wigan Athletic form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Cheltenham will be without the services of Sean Long, who picked up an injury in the early stages of the 1-0 defeat to Rotherham last time out, which will open the door for Charlie Raglan to start this weekend.

The home side have no other injury concerns from their loss at Rotherham last time out, and the visitors will have been relatively pleased with their performance against their promotion-chasing opponents.

Head coach Duff is expected to keep faith with a 3-5-2 formation, with Alfie May, who has netted seven times in League One this season, being joined in the final third of the field by Dan Nlundulu.

As for Wigan, head coach Richardson rung the changes for the EFL Trophy clash with Arsenal Under-21s on Tuesday, but there will be a more familiar look to the side for this match.

Gwion Edwards and Stephen Humphrys came into the XI against Gillingham in the league last time out, while there was also a debut for Graeme Shinnie, and all three players should retain their spots for this match.

Keane, as mentioned, has been in brilliant scoring form for the Latics this season and will continue in an attacking area, while James McClean is expected to feature in an attacking area for the league leaders.

Cheltenham Town possible starting lineup:
Evans; Raglan, Pollock, Boyle; Blair, Sercombe, Thomas, Wright, Freestone; May, Nlundulu

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
Amos; Power, Whatmough, Watts, Darikwa; Naylor, Shinnie; Edwards, Keane, McClean; Humphrys

We say: Cheltenham Town 0-2 Wigan Athletic

Wigan look a class outfit at this level of football, and it is really difficult to ignore their form when picking a result in this match. Cheltenham are capable of making it a difficult contest, but we are fully expecting the visitors to extend their winning run, with Keane continuing his strong form in front of goal.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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3MK Dons30167750331755
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17Cheltenham TownCheltenham29712103448-1433
18Lincoln CityLincoln2887133338-531
19Fleetwood TownFleetwood29710124350-731
20AFC Wimbledon29612113645-930
22Crewe AlexandraCrewe2957172448-2422
24Doncaster RoversDoncaster3064202258-3622
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