Wigan will prove a hard final hurdle for Foxes in promotion push
Wigan Athletic, 11/4 to be promoted back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, are unbeaten at home under German gaffer Uwe Rosler. They face the Championship champions-elect Leicester City – a side Coral are no longer taking bets on going up.
Two Foxes wins, the first required at the DW Stadium, in just over 72 hours, coupled with third-place QPR failing to beat Bournemouth in their next outing, could confirm promotion for Nigel Pearson.
League leaders Leicester, who unsurprisingly boast the best away record in the second-tier, are 13/8 favourites to take the first of two final steps on their long journey back to the Promised Land.
It’s been a dozen years since they were last a Premier League club.
Pearson’s side come into this trip to the Latics on an 18-match unbeaten Championship run.
They also face Sheffield Wednesday before the first weekend in April begins in earnest.
Hosts Wigan, who are 9/5 to halt Foxes momentum, meanwhile, have lost just once in 10 league outings.
The draw is enticingly priced at 9/4, as there is nothing to choose between them in previous meetings, but Rosler’s need for points is greater.
A play-off place is nothing like as secure for the Latics, as the advantage Leicester enjoy in an automatic promotion spot.
It is to Premier League loan players that Wigan fans should look for goals from. Nick Powell, on loan at the Latics from Manchester United, has two in his last four appearances, so back the attacking midfielder and occasional false number nine to net anytime at 7/4.
Nicky Maynard, a temporary Wigan capture from Cardiff City, scored twice when last facing the Foxes. He is a 5/1 shot to net first, or 9/1 to bag a brace or better.
The hosts may welcome back 31-year-old Scots Shaun Maloney and club captain Gary Caldwell after lengthy layoffs. On-loan Leicester forward Martyn Waghorn is ineligible against his parent club, and left-sided Chile international Jean Beausejour is banned.
Midfield pair Ben Watson and Chris McCann remain missing through injury.
A striker scoring for the Foxes looks a certainty here, however, as at least one of David Nugent, Kevin Phillips, Jamie Vardy and Chris Wood has netted in each of the last eight Championship matches.
Vardy will be unable to add to that run here, though, as he sustained a groin injury in Leicester’s last outing – a win at closest challengers Burnley. New Zealand international Wood looks to set to be promoted into the XI, as he has come off the bench twice in his last two appearances and grabbed goals.
Odds of 6/4 say the Kiwi will score anytime. Nugent, who has 20 goals in all competitions and converted a penalty in the reverse fixture, is 5/1 to net the opener. A repeat scoreline of 2-0 to the East Midlands outfit is temptingly long at 16/1.
The Foxes have kept two clean sheets in their last three away games but, despite Wigan seldom shutting teams out, both sides are the same price to do so here at 5/2. If this market appeals to punters, then place your money on the visitors.