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Match Preview: Wigan Athletic vs Watford FC

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The gap is now six points between us and survival. So the best thing is to be playing at home? Not for Wigan, we haven't won a game at home since August. We need that statistic to change.

Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Nine games to save our season, five of which are home games. We need to translate our impressive recent away form onto the surface at the DW Stadium. Watford FC are the first of two home games we have in the next few days, win both of them and we could close the gap to the teams above us to just goal difference.

Wigan will be without the suspended James McClean who received his tenth yellow card of the season at the weekend and will miss two games, tonight being the first of them. Leon Clarke could return to the side, with Malcky Mackay speaking in his press conference yesterday that the striker is fighting to be fit.

Question is then who replaces McClean?

Remember we have just brought in the young pair of Josh Murphy and Jerome Sinclair, either of them could  be line for a starting berth. Personally  though I would like to see William Kvist return to the fray. Against Rotherham United at the weekend our midfield was non existent. Bring in Kvist to play deep with James Perch, and push Kim Bo Kyung up with Marc Antoine Fortune.

It is of course never that simple though, and I have expect the team selection to have a couple of surprises.

Watford come to the DW Stadium in fine form with only two defeats in their last ten games as the London club have moved up to second in the Championship table, level on points with Bournemouth at the top.

Slavisa Jokanovic has more or less a fully fit side at his disposal for tonight's game. Their only absentee looks set to be Almen Abdi, the midfielder struggling with a hamstring injury. Defender Tommie Hoban and 17 goal striker Odion Ighalo are both set for returns following suspension and injury.

Tonight's game will also be the first time that Ben Watson will feature against us. The FA Cup winner has started to make an impact since his transfer to the London club.

This will not be an easy game, make no mistake about it. Watford are firing on all cylinders and will be coming here looking for a win to keep them in the fight for automatic promotion. We of course need a win to help our survival. Is this a match up of the unmovable object playing against the unstoppable force?

It could be a long 90 minutes of football for Wigan fans.