Wigan Athletic will look to strengthen their position in the top two of the League One table on Tuesday, when they welcome Crewe Alexandra to the DW Stadium.
The Latics returned to winning ways against Charlton Athletic at the weekend, while their visitors have now lost five consecutive games in England’s third tier.
Thanks to an eye-catching 10-game unbeaten run in League One, including eight victories spanning November, December and January, Wigan Athletic find themselves in a particularly strong position in their fight for promotion this term, as they moved onto 54 points from 24 matches.
However, the form of Leam Richardson’s men did then take a slight dip, as disappointing draws with Cheltenham Town and Oxford United were followed by a harmful 1-0 defeat to fellow promotion-chasers Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, with a Barry Bannan penalty making the difference.
They were quickly able to return to winning ways on Saturday, as Stephen Humphrys sealed a 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic on home turf after Will Keane had cancelled out the visitors’ opener from the penalty spot.
That saw the Latics climb back above MK Dons and into the top two, and, with at least three games in hand on every side in the top five, they find themselves in an enviable position in the fight to reach the Championship.
Richardson’s side will now look to make it back-to-back wins to reduce the gap between themselves and league leaders Rotherham United to six points and stretch their lead over the playoff places to five points while still keeping games in hand.
They welcome a Crewe Alexandra side who arrive desperate to break a five-game losing run in League One as they aim to improve their standing in the battle for survival.
After briefly lifting the mood at the Alexandra Stadium with three victories from a span of five games around the turn of the year, David Artell’s side have sunk back deep into the relegation zone in the second half of the term.
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The Railwaymen firstly fell to Cambridge United, Rotherham United and Gillingham before being the victims of back-to-back 4-1 defeats heading into Tuesday, despite leading 1-0 against Plymouth Argyle until the break in the first of the two.
Artell’s men then travelled to Accrington Stanley on Saturday, with a late Dan Agyei goal making no difference on the game as they were again beaten 4-1.
Now sitting nine points adrift of safety with 15 games left to play, the Railwaymen face the tough task of taking on the league’s second-placed side in their search for a vital and elusive win