EPL: Wigan Athletic V Wolves
September 29, 2010 | In: Articles
League Position: 18th
League Form: DLDWL
After horrific results against Blackpool and Chelsea in successive weekends right at the very beginning of the season, when conceding four to Blackpool before shipping six to Chelsea, with both results coming at The DW stadium in Greater Manchester, fans and pundits alike feared the worst. However, Roberto Martinez has miraculously managed to rally the troops and has been rewarded with a positive turn of foot, with Wigan having lost just one of their last five competitive fixtures, while the Latics have also ensured their name was in the hat for the fourth round of the Carling Cup after a 2-1 home success against Championship side Preston North End nearly a fortnight ago.
A decent cup run could actually do Wigan the world of good, a welcome rest bite from the pressure and stress which comes with playing in England’s top-flight division. The League Cup was actually where Wigan registered their first home win of the campaign, a 2-1 success over Preston at the DW, but Wigan fans are still waiting with baited breath as to when, or even if, their club will win a Premier League fixture on home soil in front of a stadium which is unlikely to even be half-full these days, with the lack of support at games half the problem for Wigan Athletic these days.
But even their slender victory over Preston came in fortunate circumstances, with the Latics having to come from behind whilst leaving it extremely late before sealing an important win, so there is no getting away from Wigan’s tormented home form this far. The irony is Wigan have played more home games at this point that anyone else in the league, which would be an advantage to any other side other than Wigan. The DW has so far embraced four league fixtures this season but has yet to be treated to a winning display from their side, with the Latics losing all but one. Defender Antonio Alcaraz spared Wigan’s blushes against Sunderland last month else it would have been four straight defeats on home soil for Wigan, so it really is desperate times at the DW, especially as their record at home last term was ultimately what saved their bacon from relegation.
To make matters just that little bit worse, as if it wasn’t possible, Wolves were one of six sides to have beaten Wigan Athletic in Manchester last season – A 1-0 victory courtesy of an Andy Keogh strike early on. It’s not as though Martinez is missing a handful of first-team characters either, with only Gary Caldwell and Tom Cleverely out injured, although Franco Di Santo did suffer a knock at Birmingham last week in a pleasing 0-0 draw at a notoriously difficult venue.
League Position: 17th
League Form: LLLDD
After their first three games of the season everyone was ranting and raving about Mick McCarthy’s Wolves. Five points collected from their opening three league games of the season and with Wolves yet to taste defeat, but that early season enthusiasm has soon been banished with a treacherous run of form recently which has seen the team slip to three defeats on the trot and slide right the way down the table and back into relegation territory.
A Wolves side reeling from their Midlands Derby defeat at the hands of Aston Villa will be bloodthirsty to exact some fore of revenge, or at least make amends for their bitterly disappointing result at home to one of their local rivals last Sunday. And the omens are at least promising for Wolves, even though their position in the league table and their recent form away from isn’t anything to shout about.
Mick McCarthy seen his side register all three points in just four away outings last season, reaching double figures in the losing column, but one of the four Wolves did manage to overhaul was that of Wigan Athletic at the DW. However, in order for a repeat performance to occur Wolves will to break free of their poor slump in form on the road. Visits to Everton, Fulham and Tottenham have resulted in just one point being added to the board, while defeat on Saturday would make it a hat-trick of away defeats and spark up one of those runs managers dread, where the light at the end of the tunnel seems a million miles away and points are so hard to come by.
So what are their chances of doing it all over against on Saturday? Well, you would have to say more than reasonable going by Wigan’s sluggish start to the season, but at the same time Wolves appear just as vulnerable. It’s a game which any side could came away as victors and I suppose that benefits the away side, the team least fancied to clinch all the spoils and the ones with the least amount of pressure on them. But even so, a lot is going against Wolves right now, with the public quickly turning against them because of rugged and wholehearted approach to games this season, so there are just as many reason as to why Wolves should be opposed than backed.
Match Prediction: Wigan Athletic to WIN – 2.38 StanJames
I’m not a big fan of either of these two teams, with consistency never something mentioned whenever Wigan nor Wolves take to the field. However, slight preference has to go the way of the Latics. Every now and again Wigan will come out of their closet and surprise us all with some decent football, generally against the better side if I’m honest, and they’ve always been a team to spring a win from completely out of the blue. Their bolt out of the blue victory at White Hart Lane against Tottenham seems an age ago now, only at the end of August in fact, but that was three games ago and that means Wigan are overdue their next success.
Over/Under: Under 2.5 Goals – 1.73 SkyBet
First Goalscorer: Hugo Rodellega – 7.00 SkyBet
Correct Score: 1-0 Wigan Athletic – 8.00 StanJames
Wigan Athletic – 2.38 StanJames
Draw – 3.30 totesport
Wolves – 3.30 Bet365