Date:Friday April 10 2009
Wigan are facing a difficult task of taking on the gunners at the JJB Stadium on the weekend. Last season's home fixture ended in a tense 0-0 draw, but somehow, history repeating itself doesn't seem for me to be on the cards and I think this will be an Arsenal victory.
However, Wigan are no pushovers at home and it will be a test for Arsenal to overcome Wigan, as they will be licking their wounds after a dismal 4-0 defeat to Everton, which rather flattered the home side, despite the fact the victory was a deserved one in the end.
That result put paid to any European ambitions for the Latics for the time being so now, the Latics have the difficult task of trying to dismantle the gunners - Bruce and the Latics frustrated Wegner last season so the boys will need to be on top form once more.
One advantage the Latics do have is home form and also because of Arsenal's mid week frolics away from the UK, they might find themselves a little tired so they might find it a while before they can find themselves hitting first gear.
Arsenal will be a very difficult game for the Latics but I do believe at the same time it might be tough for Arsenal because of their mid week exploits. That said, the Latics record against Arsenal isn't great so I think Wegner will walk away from this game against Stevie Bruce victoriously.
Its a tough run in for the Latics now so they need to chalk a few more points on the board. Unfortunately, I can't see much developing on that front for a while.
Wigan 0 Arsenal 1 - I think the Gunners will shade this game 1-0 and the Latics showing a more resilient performance than their exploits at Goodison. I can't see another 4-0 win on the cards.
ARSENAL: PLAYER TO WATCH: ANDREY ARSHAVIN
This guy is quality and will be giving the Latics defence all sorts of problems. The rearguard will really need to be on guard to cancel out the Gunners threats.
WIGAN: PLAYER TO WATCH: HUGO RODALLEGA
This guy's due a goal and he's been a bit unfortunate so far. Come on Hugo, get one for us!
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHTS
I think it may be a while before the Latics chalk up some more points and honestly speaking, our European dream is over but as long as we stay up, that's what matters and a strong finish would be a perfect way to round off the season.
ROB'S OTHER PREDICTIONS
Liverpool v Blackburn: 3-0. Back to winning ways for Benitez and company. Despite the loss of Gerrard, they are a tough proposition on any day and Blackburn won't be able to match them.
Chelsea v Bolton: 4-0. I think that Chelsea might have a field day here against Bolton -Guus Hiddink is a tough proposition for any manager and Chelsea will be buoyed by their excellent champions league result against Liverpool.
Middlesbrough v Hull: 1-0. What a MASSIVE game for both sides this is. Middlesbrough need a win or for me its goodnight nurse. 1-0 to the Boro today to keep their faint survival hopes alive.
Portsmouth v West Brom: 2-1. Something tells me this is the day Pompey secure their survival at the expense of rock bottom West Brom. Its a shame for the Baggies but this will be a home win.
Sunderland v Man Utd: 0-4. Sorry, but the Black Cats are vulnerable at the moment and the arrival of the red devils isn't a great incentive for Ricky S'Bragia. Ferguson and his team will be buoyed by their villa win and need to win to keep in touch with United. Sunderland cannot match United but they are capable of causing them problems but I predict an away win and great woe for S'Bragia. Second season syndrome might be kicking in now.
Tottenham v West Ham: 1-1. I think this is going to end in a draw. West Ham are a good side and it'll be a test for Redknapp against a good side and also a manager in the shape of Gianfranco Zola.
Stoke v Newcastle: 0-1. Something tells me that Alan Shearer's boys will go to stoke and come away with a victory. Some might say I am a barking madman but I still think that Stoke might find themselves on the end of a desperate Newcastle fight and they'll be the ones who come off the worst in the battle to beat the drop.
Aston Villa v Everton: 0-1. I just think that with Everton's confidence at the moment, they might prove too much for Villa, who have more than wobbled in recent weeks and perhaps have let a champions league spot slip right through their fingers. A tough game for them against Everton, who are good away from home.
Man City v Fulham: 1-0. I think City will beat Fulham 1-0 here. Fulham are a tough nut to crack. However, I expect a home win here. Fulham are as safe as houses and Man City will finish the season in decent form. Its disappointing they haven't been able to get the best out of Robinho but I expect a busy summer for Mark Hughes in the transfer market.
Date:Friday April 10 2009
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