Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wigan prediction

A little adrift of the battle for fourth spot following our defeat at home to Everton last Monday, we really need to get back on track later today at home to Wigan.

We've not had the most impressive of records against Wigan since they gained promotion to the Premier League and this looks a tricky game on paper to me.

We haven't been on top form of late, with Elano particularly not looking 100%, but with Petrov serving the first of a three game ban, as Sven says, it is vital Elano discovers the sensational early season form which catapulted us to the top four.

In addition to Petrov's suspension, Micah Richards will be absent from the centre of defence which will allow Corluka to return from the starting line-up. Michael Johnson is gaining fitness following his long lay off and if he is fit enough to start it will be a definite boost in the midfield where the creativity has not quite been there of late.

Despite Sven waxing lyrical about the development of Felipe Caceido, I expect Sven to retain and start with the 4-5-1 line-up with Nery Castillo a probable like for like replacement for Petrov.

Wigan are likely to be at full strength, and are coming off the back of a victory over Derby - but have failed to win twice in a row this season and we have only suffered back to back defeats once during this campaign.

It is a game which we have every right to be wary of given our record against Wigan (and our own recent stuttering form), but results in particular last weekend have really sharpened the focus in terms of recapturing our form to gear up for a run at European qualification, and I'll take us to come away with a 2-0 victory.

vote it up!

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