Plenty of reasons for optimism over Wigan’s promotion prospects

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Wigan’s start to the season has been fairly ordinary, but what this has done is pushed their price out to an enticing figure to be promoted from the Championship this season.

From their opening eight league games, Wigan have taken 11 points and should they win the two fixtures in hand over the majority of their fellow second-tier rivals, they will improve to within two points of the play-off places.

But from a position of 15th in the standings at present, Wigan have drifted to 4/1 to simply be promoted by any means, which looks like a value bet. This is especially true given they remain unbeaten at home.

For starters, they have been missing a hatful of their best players for the majority of the campaign to date, who could all feature again in the first team in the next six weeks.

Central defender Ivan Ramis has not played since January because of a knee ligament injury, but is said to be progressing well. Gary Caldwell is yet to feature this season either.

Up ahead in midfield, Shaun Maloney has been troubled by a back problem of late and this has even caused his absence from the upcoming Scotland World Cup qualifiers.

Meanwhile, in attack Grant Holt is another with a knee issue, but there is even an outside chance that he will be fit enough to make the substitute’s bench for Wigan’s next Championship outing at home to Blackburn.

These players will make a big difference and the team should only improve when they have fully grasped the ideas of Owen Coyle. It should not be forgotten that he has only been in charge since the start of the campaign.

Hull were situated in mid-table for the first third of last season under Steve Bruce in his first campaign, before embarking on a positive run of form to finish in the automatic promotion spots.

Finally, there is money in the bank for Wigan to significantly strengthen the squad in the January transfer window, thanks to the sale of James McCarthy in the final minutes of summer deadline-day.

Jordan Rhodes has been linked previously and his goals would almost certainly thrust them into the promotion picture, should they not already be on the periphery.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.