Rob's Prediction: Bolton V Wigan
The last time Bolton went to Anfield and played Liverpool, they duly lost. The next home game, was Wigan Athletic, where a Amr Zaki penalty was the difference between the two sides at the Reebok - how Wigan could wish for more of the same. I'm going to be brave tonight and stick my neck out for a surprise result. I don't mean that at all disrespectfully but when you're at the near bottom of the pack, luck has a habit of turning its back on you.
Wigan suffered a horrible Tuesday with Fulham comprehensively crushing West Brom and Blackpool being beaten by Birmingham who were the closest things we had to relegation rivals. However, it could also be classed as a blessing since it drags Blackpool and West Brom deeper into the mix. One thing's for sure, Wigan are in a dogfight, but it might have been so different had we beaten Newcastle, but without the mercurial Charles N'Zogbia, it was always going to be difficult, especially with Jordi Gomez taking his role.
The performance to say the least was not even lacklustre - it was pathetic. Never before have I seen such a poor performance on the television. Nevertheless, such instances tend to galvanise a team sometimes and Bolton will be thinking Wigan might be easy pickings as they try to surge towards Europe - perhaps tonight, Wigan will be the party poopers and put a spanner in Coyle's works!
However, Wigan will need to be alert to watch the likes of in form Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies, who are a tireless pair up front and have real genuine quality. However, perhaps tonight, Martinez might play Mauro Boselli and he may FINALLY get off the score sheet, but that's just wishful thinking, I guess.
Personally, I see Roberto Martinez going 4-5-1 tonight. He needs to go defensive as points are an absolute must and hopefully, we can catch Bolton on the break - Bolton have lost just once at home this term to Liverpool and that is a tremendous achievement, regardless of what some people might think of Owen Coyle. He was a messiah at Burnley, but we all know the sad ending that story had.
I think its too early to write the Latics off ahead of this game despite their injury crisis and other issues and I think that Bolton just might think Wigan are there for easy pickings, which might lead them into a false sense of security - which is why I personally believe Roberto might prove the majority wrong and leave Bolton with all three points and put a major spanner in Bolton's bid to make it into Europe.
I think Bolton might find this tougher than they initially might think and it seems to be a cycle at the Reebok where we put in a masterclass and then a rubbish performance. Last time we put in a rubbish performance, so now we're due a result and lets hope the omen of the Liverpool saga where Bolton played before playing Wigan and lost becomes a reality. I think that Wigan and Bolton will both want this, but I see a very narrow victory for the Latics tonight to give them a much needed boost in their own quest for surviving relegation.
Bolton 0-1 Wigan
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHTS
We've got an FA Cup game against Hull on the weekend and besides that, it'll give us the perfect opportunity to get some fresh new faces hopefully into the club so we can boost our prospects for the remainder of the season.