Reading’s winless run extended to 11 games last weekend after they were unable to earn anything out of a trip to the East Midlands where they faced a Coventry City side gunning for promotion to the Premier League.
Goals from Matt Godden and Gustavo Hamer for the Sky Blues fell either side of Lucas Joao finding the net for the visitors, meaning Reading still have not won an away match since November.
The Royals must forget that abysmal record for this weekend at least as they return to their Berkshire home – a place which Noel Hunt’s men have recorded four-straight draws against Hull City, Birmingham City, Burnley and Luton Town.
Despite respectable results in the past month, Reading’s inability to secure a maximum since February – and a six-point deduction – means they are currently 22nd in the Championship standings, one point from safety with two matches left to play.
With relegation rivals Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town facing off against each other on Sunday, the Royals know they will need to break their winless spell to have a realistic chance of staying in the second tier, with a clash against Wigan being a good opportunity to do so.
Shaun Maloney’s men – like their opponents Reading – have faced a points punishment from the EFL this season, and without those three points being taken away Wigan would be fancying their chances of pulling off a great escape.
Wigan kept their slim survival chances alive last time out with a 2-1 home success against playoff-chasing Millwall, with goals from Will Keane and Thelo Aasgaard securing an essential three points.
The Latics have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since September in their last duo of matches – results which mean Saturday’s visitors have not been sentenced to League One football just yet.
The reality, however, is that the Latics are still bottom of the second-tier standings despite their recent victories, four points from Neil Warnock’s Terriers in 22nd and having played a game more.
The 2012-13 FA Cup winners have become accustomed to hard times over the past decade since that magical day at Wembley against Manchester City, and it appears the DW Stadium faithful might have to prepare over the summer for an immediate return to the third tier