An emphatic 4-1 away win over Nottingham Forest is the latest success for a revitalised Wigan Athletic, who look excellent value to be promoted this season with Ladbrokes.
The Latics can be backed at 4/1 with the bookmakers to go up this term in a situation that is a far cry from the mid-table mediocrity they previously enjoyed under discarded manager Owen Coyle.
So why are the club excelling under new man Uwe Rosler and why should they be backed for a Premier League return?
The momentum is with the Latics
Saturday’s victory made it five wins in a row for Wigan with the Latics currently on a run of eight games without defeat at the JJB Stadium.
It all points to the momentum being very much with Uwe Rosler’s side who are coming into form at the perfect time, emulating the likes of Crystal Palace under Iain Dowie, Reading with Brian McDermott and Roy Keane’s Sunderland.
Good January transfer business
Though overshadowed by the many comings and goings of Queens Park Rangers, Wigan completed a series of shrewd signings during the January window that could yet pay Premier League dividends.
Cardiff striker Nicky Maynard was drafted in on loan and promptly set about repaying Uwe Rosler’s faith with three goals for the Lancashire club, while Ryan Tunnicliffe – who excelled on loan with Ipswich Town earlier in the season – was drafted in until the conclusion of the campaign.
Throw in loan acquisitions Martin Waghorn from Leicester and Josh McEachran from Chelsea and it would appear that Wigan have boosted their squad without spending big. Harry take note!
Creativity in the midfield
One area that the Latics have never been lacking in is the midfield, and it’s their vibrancy in this particular area of the pitch that could help them see off some of the league’s lesser lights.
Jordi Gomez has been among those to step up to the plate for Wigan this season, with five goals in 19 appearances, including a screamer against Forest, that have seen many predict a departure to the Premier League this summer if the club fails to go up.
He is ably assisted by the likes of Chilean Jean Beausejour who is eager to impress ahead of the World Cup, Honduran Roger Espinoza and Manchester United loanee Nick Powell.
No European distractions
It’s no coincidence that Wigan’s upturn in form has coincided with their exit from this season’s Europa League, with the Latics picking up form since going out of the competition, which required the squad to travel much in the week and play many of their domestic fixtures on Sundays.
Another surprise side effect of competing in the Europa League is that the team now has two games in hand over many of their opponents and with the Latics already occupying a play-off place, the pressure is off them a little.
Furthermore, those additional six points could push them further up the standings and into surprise automatic promotion contention.
Rosler is out for revenge
The German will have bad memories of his previous campaign with Brentford which saw the Bees miss a penalty on the last day of the season that would have seen them go up automatically, going on to lose to an unfancied Yeovil in the play-offs.
With Wigan on course for either the play-offs or a top two finish, Rosler will be in no mood to oversee a repeat and will be pushing his players on throughout the season.
A move up into the Premier League could provide welcome tonic to his playing career too, with the German remembered as the misfiring striker that contributed to Manchester City’s relegation in 1996.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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