Date:Saturday April 4 2009
Wigan, not so long ago, were looking perilously over their shoulders at the drop zone as 35 points had a few fans on edge, but that all changed when they travelled to the Stadium of Light and Charles N'Zogbia stunned Sunderland on their own turf with a brilliant goal.
Followed up with a good performance against Hull City, Europe is a possibility. Add to that Tottenham's loss to Blackburn and now, Wigan are in a really strong position but its going to be tough considering the fixtures that are left and although Europe is a real achievement, I think we'll miss out but as long as we finish strongly, that is what matters.
The boys of Moyes will be pumped up for this game because they are looking for European qualification themselves and are a really tough team on any day to get a result from. I personally think that this is a home banker for Everton because they are a very difficult team to beat and I can't see the Latics causing an upset here.
That said, at the same time, I do believe this will be a very tight game. Wigan have the players to potentially cause an upset and I believe it will take team spirit and mentality from Everton to finally break up stern Latics resistance.
The team has really come a long way ever since Brucie's appointment. Hutchings, as nice as he was, is now just a distant memory, but its a shame he didn't do better but the Latics board acted at the right time to appoint Steve, who is a strong contender for manager of the season.
I'm expecting a good, tight game, as others have predicted, but Everton have the advantage of home soil and their own desire to get a place in Europe, so I think it'll be tight, but result in a narrow victory for the Toffees.
WIGAN: PLAYER TO WATCH: BEN WATSON
Ben Watson has scored two goals in his last games and he is a threat from set pieces as well so the Everton rearguard will need to be as defensive minded as possible to cope, but he's not the only Latics player who can unsettle the Toffees.
EVERTON: PLAYER TO WATCH: MAROUANE FELLIANI
This guy is proving his worth in the premier league and will be a big threat to the Latics. However, like Everton, Wigan will need to concentrate to nullify the threat of an excellent Toffees side. It will be difficult, I fear.
I'm sorry to say that I have to be realistic here and go for an Everton home win and I fancy a very tight home win for Everton. Wigan will not make this easy whatsoever and I can see Everton being unsettled by a strong Latics side.
Everton 3 Wigan 2
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
I feel this is going to be a great game but ultimately Everton could see this one through. Wigan will, as always, give it their very much all but I just think that the boys of Moyes will sneak it. As long as we put on a good show, that's what matters, but I am optimistic at the same time there's a good chance we could take something from the game but for now, I see this as a home win.
Also, the relegation battle really was there for all to see on Saturday. Newcastle lost (who said they'd beat Chelsea or even draw with them? I know about the Shearer effect but I wasn't convinced Chelsea would lose at all, in fact quite the opposite.) Boro suffered a poor loss to Bolton. I can't understand Middlesbrough's fall in form but I suppose, Gareth's signings just failed to shine and relegation almost looks like a certainty. West Brom suffered an unsurprising defeat to Stoke City and I feel sorry for Albion fans but at least they can call themselves true fans for sticking with their team from good and bad. Good on them and the team and their manager, Tony Mowbray.
However, something tells me there will be more twists and turns to come yet....
The good news is that Latics are on course for staying up for a fifth season and depending on how high they finish, this could be a real turning point and we could see some interesting characters checking in at the JJB come the summer. All that goes down to the good work of Dave Whelan and Steve Bruce.
In regards to the stadium name change, still prefer the JJB as opposed to the DW Stadium. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but no matter what, I shall stay a latics supporter until the very end.
Do you agree with Rob's prediction and views? Why not have your say in the forums.
Date:Saturday April 4 2009
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