This is another game featuring a Championship side testing their wits against a top flight club, although it was only last season that these two met in a league game. However, the way Wigan’s season is heading it won’t be long until they meet again in the league, with the DW Stadium outfit currently sat in 19th position in the Premiership. Hull meanwhile are slowly acclimatizing to life back in the Championship and the Tigers have now risen to a safe mid-table position.
It was only this time last year that Hull were battling away in the Premiership, although those memories now seem long forgotten. It was also about this time last year that Phil Brown was starting to feel the pressure and while Brown left the club a long time ago, it seems as though the KC Stadium outfit are still on something of a downward slope. Despite possessing one of the more talented squads of the Championship, they’ve struggled immensely and have actually spent most of the season flirting with the bottom few places. In recent weeks their form has improved and as we now approach the second half of the campaign, manager Nigel Pearson will be hoping to build on their current position of 15th. Having lost just one of their last ten they’re certainly proving trickier to beat and unlike some teams this weekend, they’ll be going all out to try and make something of a cup run this season.
Wigan meanwhile are having a torrid time of it and probably won’t be 100% concentrated on this fixture. Roberto Martinez will know that this game is of zero importance compared to their league campaign and he’ll need to keep his team fresh for a crucial second half to the season. As it stands, the Lactics are sat in 19th position although their position could easily change, with goal difference being the only factor keeping them in the bottom three at the moment. In terms of recent form, one positive heading into this encounter is the fact that they haven’t lost away since late November. However, after winning just once in their last nine, their form can hardly be described as promising.
On the team news front, Hull have numerous concerns for this one with Paul McShane out through injury while Aaron McLean, James Chester and Brad Guzan are ineligible. On the positive front, Robert Koren could feature after recovering from an illness. It’s similar for the visitors who are also missing players. Tom Cleverley, Mauro Boselli and Chris Kirkland are all on the treatment table leaving Roberto Martinez with several positions to fill.
As for a prediction, we’re going to tip the home side here. Wigan will want to keep distractions to a minimum and with Hull not having much to play for in their league, we think they’ll just about manage a 2-1 win.