Leeds take on struggling Wigan as Premier League beckons


Good Friday could be more than an Easter holiday for Leeds United when they square off against a struggling Wigan Athletic side in the Championship as the Whites look to strengthen their grip on second place and creep closer to a Premier League return.

The hosts recovered from an underwhelming defeat at Birmingham City to record back-to-back wins and clean sheets against Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday and due to recent slips from Sheffield United are in control of their own promotion.

However, with United playing earlier in the day they could draw level with their Yorkshire rivals on 82 points before the 3 o’clock kick-off at Elland Road.

The visitors currently sit just two points above the relegation zone and could drop into the bottom three if they fail to win and Rotherham United beat Swansea. A shock win for Wigan could propel them up to 19th and give them breathing room in the relegation battle.

The Latics haven’t won since their 5-2 thrashing of troubled Bolton Wanderers – their only win in their last six games – and have drawn three of their last four.

Marcelo Bielsa will no doubt have paid close attention to Latics youngster Reece James, who netted when the two sides last met in November and has been one of the stars of the Championship this campaign. Leeds managed to overturn that 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory.

The match winner that day was Kemar Roofe, who has recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury and could be in line for his first start since his recovery.

Bielsa preached taking one game at a time in the final few games of the season stating “this game will be independent of the other games” in his pre-match press conference.

The Argentine was also keen to stress that Wigan will provide a stern test of his high-flying side.

“This is a team that how they are playing is better than their position in the table,” Bielsa said. “Sometimes the teams that are on top of the table, when they are playing the teams in the worst position you don’t see this difference about the level and positions of the teams.”

Leeds could also move within one point of table-toppers Norwich should they suffer defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.


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