Wigan face a notable step up in class when they welcome Rubin Kazan to the DW Stadium in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Latics have won and drawn to date in their continental adventure, but in the Russian side they encounter a vastly experienced European outfit who have set themselves apart in the group after the opening two fixtures.
Kurban Berdyev’s side have rattled in nine strikes in their opening two matches, and have now won their last nine matches in the Europa League; they beat the reigning Europa League champions Chelsea 3-2 to begin their current run.
Wigan come into the game after a 1-0 defeat to Blackpool at the weekend, meaning that they are languishing in 13th place in the Championship table, and have now lost three of their last five matches.
While Kazan may only be 10th in the Russian Premier League, their form is perhaps not as woeful as one may be inclined to believe. They have lost only three of 13 league fixtures, with draws, as opposed to defeats, accounting for their relatively lowly position. Conceding under a goal per game domestically, they boast the second-best defence in Russia, an asset which has formed the bedrock of their recent Europa League success.
They have held the opposition scoreless in five of their last seven, however Wigan are a different proposition at the DW. They have scored five times in their last two on home soil, and will expect to ripple the visitor’s net at least once – though that isn’t likely be enough to avoid defeat. A win for the visitors with over 2.5 goals scored in the match makes huge appeal at 5/2.
While Rubin’s striking power has been dealt a blow by the injury sustained to Jose Rondon – responsible for five European goals this term – midfielder Roman Eremenko has four in his last five in the competition. A goal for the Finn with an away victory will entice many at 9/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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