Villa Vs Wigan: The Martinez Era Begins!
It doesn't seem two minutes ago since Wigan beat Portsmouth 1-0 at the JJB Stadium but now, Wigan have a new manager, a new stadium and a new squad. We've lost some assets over the summer but we've also gained some fair assets as well - let's hope they all live up to their reputations.
Interestingly, Wigan have never won a game at the beginning of the season and Villa have never beaten Wigan - one of those odds could change today and I think, if anything, it might swing the way of Aston Villa. I fear they might have too much for Wigan today, but that said, the Latics have a hunger to impress Roberto Martinez and he'll want a good start to EPL life.
Wigan face Emile Heskey, who is a good player but will he score against his old club? You can count on it. More or less always happens but Villa's front line is frightening and I think that they will cause us big problems - Titus Bramble et al will need to be in good form.
That said, Wigan have a great forward line in Rodallega and Scotland. They are threats in different ways. Hugo because of his pace, skill and fierce free kicks and Scotland as he causes menace wherever he goes. I think he can cut it one, perhaps, last time at the top level. Maybe this is his bowing out season.
It's good to be back in the hot seat again doing the predictions. O'Neill's men are a very tough prospect and it could swing either way based on statistics. I just think Villa have the edge over Wigan here but a loss here wouldn't be a terrible result as long as we get something against Wolverhampton Wanderers. I think the Latics will put a show up though for Martinez to try and cement their first team place and try to impress. I think it will be tight though.
Aston Villa 1 Wigan 0
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHTS
Despite all the doom mongers around, I am predicting a reasonable finish for the Latics this season. I'm going to say 14th. That'd be a respectable finish and the transfer window isn't even closed yet. More quality to come, I think.
OTHER PREDICTED RESULTS
Chelsea 5 Hull 0
B> Blackburn 1 Man City 2
B> Bolton 1 Sunderland 2
B> Portsmouth 1 Fulham 2
B> Stoke 1 Burnley 0
B> Wolves 1 West Ham 1
B> Everton 0 Arsenal 1
B> Man Utd 0 Birmingham 0
B> Tottenham 1 Liverpool 0
Just got a feeling there could be a big surprise at Old Trafford as they never start well, Manchester United. No doubt they're quality, but will they stutter again? I think they may take a while to adapt to their changes and Birmingham have nothing to lose and without the threat of Ronaldo, have a bit less to fear so I think this will be a good played game of Footy.
UP THE LATICS!!!