West Ham V Wigan
Wigan are going to make the long trip down south to take on London based club West Ham. Thus far, Wigan's warm up for the season has been a reasonable one picking up some decent results, others not so decent but these games are not always easy as has been evidenced by other EPL teams falling to 'lowly' opposition.
Still, Wigan travel to West Ham with very much optimism following good results in their pre-season and they will be buoyed by the battle they performed to stay in the EPL last season. Wigan have proved that under Steve Bruce, there is a team that are no walkovers and Alan Curbishley is only too aware that Wigan will do all they can to once more cause an upset at Upton Park.
Sometimes you get some funny results on the first day of the season but I can't see any funny results here. Its going to be a very hard game - West Ham, despite my reservations, are a strong team but Latics have proven they fear nobody under Bruce and as Bruce is best remembered for his defensive stratagem, Wigan will be defending their honour at Upton Park where they remain unbeaten since their promotion to the Premier League.
However Wigan have some fresh injury concerns to worry about but hopefully these will be resolved before the season starts. The good news is Amr Zaki WILL play in this game and he will be the main threat up front as his finishing is next to nothing in terms of potency. Add to that a sterling defence and the battling midfield, West Ham may or may not know what's hit them.
Wigan remain the bogey team for West Ham at Upton Park and its not a game that Curbishley will be looking forward to but fresh legs aplenty for the new season, with points to prove, I feel that ultimately both teams will cancel each other out and both managers will have to settle for a very hard earned point and a great start for Wigan and a mediocre one for West Ham.
Rob's Prediction: West Ham 1 Wigan 1
Its going to be another draw at Upton Park -Wigan remain unbeaten there and although there's a first time for everything, somehow the stats suggest that West Ham will not be enough to overpower Wigan at home. A good point earned for Wigan against a tough West Ham outfit.
Don't forget to join me next time for the match preview for Wigan v Chelsea folks.
Why not have your say on the message boards and see if you agree with my prediction?