Rob's Prediction: Wigan V West Brom
Wigan play a high-flying West Bromwich Albion side who, despite a slight stumble, have been a breath of fresh air since their promotion to the Premier League and have picked up some surprising results along the way, not least their awesome win over Arsenal. Some people are even calling the 'Emirates' a fortress no more, but that's very premature. However, it is very unlike Arsenal to drop points in two home games, let alone one, but also to lose them.
Peter Odemwingie has been the revelation for Roberto Di Matteo and Alcaraz and Caldwell will need to watch him though it might be the duty of Gohouri to do that - there's very little to compare the two who have strengths and weaknesses in different areas, though I would prefer Gohouri in all honesty.
The big talking point is the return of Paul Scharner to the DW Stadium who said he left Wigan because he wanted to win something because he was getting too old. No offence but is he going to win something with West Brom? The mind boggles, yet our Paul was a very colourful character in his heyday at Wigan.
For the game, this will be difficult and both teams do seem to concede a lot of goals, but every now and again, Wigan do seem to carve out a game where they keep a clean sheet and they need to against West Brom and I think they just might do that today, but it'll be very tense.
Wigan need to win this game to continue their recent revival and I think they'll win this by a single goal margin with Thomas Cleverley scoring the winner.
Wigan 1-0 West Brom
ROB'S OTHER PREDICTIONS
Aston Villa V Man Utd - This game is so pivotal to Man Utd as they need to keep pace with Chelsea. However, are Chelsea too far ahead already? Man Utd must believe they are not and they have not lost a game at Villa since 1995 - I suspect a euphoric win for Man Utd. 0-3
Man City V Birmingham - The McLeish bubble is starting to burst and their results have been flaky of late - they don't want to face a Man City side who are desperate to keep an eye on fourth spot in the league or indeed, perhaps even better than that. A home win for Man City today and a tough season ahead for Alex McLeish. 3-0
Newcastle V Fulham - This won't be easy for Newcastle or Fulham and Fulham haven't won away from home for many games and Newcastle aren't exactly the greatest at home, either. A dull stalemate, I think. 0-0
Tottenham V Blackburn - Blackburn aren't the greatest of travellers usually but they have begun to rectify that issue with wins over Blackpool and also Newcastle - their future in the league is not in doubt now. However, Tottenham prove a tough nut to crack yet they've been showing glimpses of fragility and only a couple of points from a few games isn't a great return - I can't see them claiming fourth again unless there is a dramatic turnaround. 1-1
West Ham V Blackpool - Avram Grant really needs to win this game today and I think he will - as good as Blackpool are, I just think today is D-Day for Grant and he needs his troops to respond for him. I expect it to be a very tough game with a single goal being the difference. 1-0
Wolves V Bolton - Well the bubble's bursting now for Mick McCarthy, really. After a somewhat encouraging start to the campaign, they're going to be right in the thick of a relegation battle and you don't want to be playing Bolton at the moment - they are an extremely difficult nut to crack under Owen Coyle and are rarely undefeated this season already. I suspect Bolton might add to McCarthy's woes at home and I tip a narrow away win for the Trotters. 0-1
Stoke City V Liverpool - Stoke are a good side and have been a bit unfortunate of late. Liverpool need to maintain top four momentum. I think Liverpool might break their jinx at this stadium today and they need to so they can keep their resurgence alive. 0-1
Everton V Arsenal - Arsenal are a very difficult side to beat in the league though they haven't been at their best of late and neither really have Everton been setting the world alight. They are both good sides so a draw is an obvious candidate. 1-1
Chelsea V Sunderland - Chelsea have to stumble at some point and stumble they did at Liverpool - this is a must win game for Carlo Ancelotti's men as is Sir Alex Ferguson's game at Villa Park - I can't see either team dropping points or indeed if one of them did, I see Ferguson doing it at Villa Park. This won't be an easy game for Chelsea and they weren't exactly echilirating against Fulham. Without Darren Bent though, Sunderland will be toothless and I think this could be a very difficult day for Steve Bruce's team. 4-0
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
Wins for Wigan and Huddersfield would be the perfect weekend. Come on teams!
Until next time from your favourite pundit, Vital Rob!
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