Wigan v Birmingham: Rob's Preview
Birmingham City got a good win against strugglers Wolverhampton at Molineux last time out and this will have boosted their confidence but Birmingham will know only too well that Wolves has been a happy hunting ground for the majority of teams so far this season as they've struggled to put much together.
Under Alex McLeish, they've become quite a formidable unit and will be a difficult team to beat at home and away but their home form could be a cause for concern because despite some good results, they have been far from convincing, but there are never any easy games.
Alex has done a good job since replacing Steve Bruce and he should really be looking at Premier League survival and I think they might just do it.
Wigan, on the other hand, have been having a bad time of it of late but their bad time turned into a positive situation when they beat Sunderland 1-0 last time out after suffering a horrible defeat at White Hart Lane. For once I agree with Lawro. It was an important result for Wigan and Hugo Rodallega just proved how important he is to this Latics side and he is a quality striker and purchased at a snip for £4.5m from Nexaca.
Roberto Martinez has done a so so job for me so far at Wigan - his team blow hot and cold but he certainly is an inventive manager and tries his best to take the game to any team and he deserves credit for trying to bring a different flair but as it has been said, will it cost him? I don't think so because I think Wigan can go onto good things because their home form is really good and their away form is a work in progress - good wins at Villa and Burnley but some catastrophic results in and around those two results will raise questions.
Martinez will get it all right in time and the signs are there but only marginally at the moment but the Sunderland game is an important result. Martinez has already shown the massive potential he and his team have with a famous win over Chelsea earlier in the season.
For the game, Birmingham will provide a very stiff challenge and are a very good side under Alex McLeish. They are a bit wobbly but has McLeish turned a corner with Birmingham? They've got some great results but Birmingham are a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde side like the Latics. Birmingham have never won at the Latics and as Latics don't score many and remain inconsistent, I see Birmingham's good run continuing today but Martinez's team also continuing a fairly decent home record.
Birmingham will come to the Latics a difficult side to conquer and as Latics remain inconsistent, I see this as a draw.
Wigan 1 Birmingham 1
ROB'S OTHER SCORES
Portsmouth 0 Burnley 0
Arsenal 4 Stoke City 0
Aston Villa 1 Hull 1
Blackburn 2 Liverpool 3
West Ham 1 Man Utd 2
Wolves 0 Bolton 0
Man City 2 Chelsea 3
Fulham 1 Sunderland 1
Everton 1 Tottenham 3
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
The EPL has been so crazy this season that anything can happen. Its going to be an interesting time between now and May.
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