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Owen Coyle's men will be hoping to claim a vital victory over the in-form visitors but our tipster is expecting a tight first half at DW Stadium in Thursday's match

Wigan can take a massive stride towards the Europa League group stages if they can claim all three points from their meeting with Belgian side Zulte-Waregem at DW Stadium on Thursday night.

Owen Coyle’s side have been solid if unspectacular in their debut season in Europe having won one, lost one and drawn two of their opening four group games and victory on Thursday could see the Latics take a significant step towards the next round of the competition.

Wigan are chalked up as 37/40 (1.93) favourites with BetVictor to claim all three points from Thursday’s crunch clash while the visitors can be backed at 17/5 (4.40) with BetVictor to follow up on an impressive victory over Maribor in their previous Europa League tie by beating the Latics. The draw is available at 5/2 (3.50) with the same firm.

Zulte-Waregem will certainly be in confident mood ahead of Thursday’s encounter with Francky Dury’s side having gone six games without defeat in all competitions.

Wigan, by contrast, have won just two of their last eight matches in all competitions and Owen Coyle will be desperately hoping that his side can rise to the occasion here.

The last meeting between these sides ended in a dour 0-0 draw in Belgium back in September and, with both sides having plenty to play for in a tight group, another evenly-matched contest seems likely.

The 5/6 (1.83) quote from BetVictor for Thursday’s tussle to feature fewer than three goals looks to represent decent value while the 21/20 (2.05) quote from the same firm for the first-half to end all square is likely to prove popular with punters.

A point apiece would be far from disastrous for either side here and, therefore, punters can anticipate a cagey opening spell at DW Stadium.

With that in mind, the 11/10 (2.10) quote from BetVictor for the opening goal of what promises to be a nervy contest to come after the 28th minute is excellent value and should be snapped up accordingly here.

First goal after 28th minute at 11/10 (2.10) 2pts stake with BetVictor

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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