Rob's Prediction: Wigan V Bolton
Wigan Athletic prepare to welcome Owen Coyle's Bolton Wanderers to the Dave Whelan Stadium, hoping to build on their half-decent form of late, having picked up decent points against Sunderland and Stoke City, who still remain unbeaten in 2010.
This is a massive game for Wigan and one which, if lost, wouldn't spell disaster, but could spiral them down nearer to the foot of the table. The good news is that Wigan are unbeaten in their last three against Bolton and the visitors are not great away specialists. I hope I haven't cursed anything by saying any of the above.
Owen Coyle left Burnley under a dark cloud to join Bolton and potentially, could've put the final nail in Burnley's coffin but Brian Laws is doing OK as his replacement - but it depends on how long Burnley can retain their rhythm at home in determining whether or not they can retain their EPL survival. Many Burnley fans would see it as just desserts if Bolton went down and Burnley stayed up.
Bolton though, are not great away from home and they struggle to maintain a lead as do Wigan and the magnitude of this game would suggest that the only real plausible outcome would be a draw. Bolton don't score many away from home at all and Wigan concede many, as much as Bolton, so this game's quite difficult to predict, but despite a draw being a predictable outcome, I'm going to stick my neck out, perhaps unwisely, to go for a rare Wigan win.
Wigan are a good side but they can't stop conceding, much to the chagrin of the fans and probably the team and manager. The defence needs shoring up more for me and if we survive, the summer will need to see some proven reinforcements come in to help the back four. Caldwell has done OK since his arrival and hopefully, his overall impact will steady a rocky defence.
Wigan are on a bit of a good run at the moment - 2 points from 6 may not sound much but picking up a point a game may just see the season through - one more away win and I think we'll be OK and I think its possible. I have faith but despite the thoughts of many, whatever happens, Wigan will be OK. Bolton have just as many worries but the magnitude of the game is so massive and I feel that the stats suggest that although a draw could be likely, I think Wigan may only just edge this vital game.
Wigan 1 Bolton 0
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
I think Wigan will be OK and in the end, Burnley, Hull and Portsmouth will be the teams who go down, but as Mr Bramble said, the work begins here.
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