Date:Thursday March 18 2010
I'm not going to dwell on the negativity that is sweeping around concerning the recent performances of Wigan Athletic. Instead, I am going to encourage the fans and the team as well as their under fire manager to try their utmost to get a win over Burnley.
Burnley started the season in impeccable fashion, managing to shock champions Manchester United 1-0 at Turf Moor and it looked like they might go on to have a successful season in the top flight. However, after an encouraging run, their good fortune has slowly withered away and they know only a win at the DW Stadium would suffice.
That said, Burnley's away record makes for dire reading unfortunately, having salvaged a solitary point, but what a point it was at Manchester City, the same team that so convincingly demolished Chelsea.
In many ways, its a shame for the Clarets that they could not maintain their good start as it would have been nice to see a bit more variety in the Premier League in seasons to come, but I'm afraid that their recent form has caused serious alarm and there was even news being mooted around that Brian Laws was going to be sacked.
However, that would have not been the wisest move, had it been true. Owen Coyle, for me, pulled a shocker to leave Burnley and join Bolton as it showed no loyalty to the club, despite the protestations the move wasn't to do with money. Owen's departure for me could well coincide with Burnley's poor form and if they go down, part of that reason can only be attributed to the former Clarets boss.
However, their away form is shockingly poor and Wigan have yet to do their double of the season and I think that they will do it here as I can't see the Wigan team upsetting West Ham or Chelsea. It would be lovely to do the double over Chelsea but it isn't going to happen, but would go a long way to appease the fans after such a disappointing season.
Roberto Martinez knows that this is a must not lose game, not necessarily a must win game. Some might argue the toss on that but as long as we don't lose, I think its a point closer to safety.
Gary Caldwell went on record stating how massive a game this is and he's right. Both teams know there's so much at stake, riding on this game.
Wigan performed creditably against Aston Villa but could not stop a 2-1 defeat to the Villans occurring. Had it not been for an unfortunate own goal from James McCarthy, we might have salvaged a draw, but I don't blame him as it was a genuine error on his part.
What's more concerning is Wigan have mustered just one home win against Burnley in the past nine encounters so the Latics had better be at their very best if they want to stop Burnley and I think they will, but boy this game is going to be very tough indeed.
Burnley come to the Dave Whelan Stadium to try and salvage their first away victory of the season but Wigan need a win to more or less see themselves on the road to a 6th season in the Premier League. Burnley have a dire record away from home and despite the odds somewhat stacked against Roberto's team, I can only see one victor in a crucial Lancashire Derby game.
Wigan 1 Burnley 0
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
Lets hope that we can achieve the double against Burnley and that Huddersfield Town can still make the play-offs. Its not been an easy few weeks for either set of fans but lets hope there's some convincing light at the end of the tunnel.
Date:Thursday March 18 2010
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