Rob's Prediction: Wigan Vs Aston Villa
It amused me and in most of the sense, was justified that Richard Keys and Andy Gray were caught out making remarks about a female official at the Wolves versus Liverpool. I think it was a great thing to do to punish them respectively but at least the fact that the official has received an apology from at least one of the commentators means they are only human. Someone should give the Sky Sports team a one Saturday afternoon ban after their horrendous comments about Wigan Athletic in their match against Arsenal and were constantly ripping the team to shreds. Shame on them.
Anyways, Wigan are focused on survival now and some have dubbed this game as relegation material - hardly as Aston Villa I never had to go down anyways. Wigan might be in a spot of bother but they do move nicely at an average of a point a game and that could be important come the end of the season. After this game, its back to the FA Cup, a welcome distraction from the demands of the Premier League. Wigan travel to Bolton in the cup so it might be a good idea to put some of the youngsters out again as we need to focus more on survival.
Worryingly, Aston Villa have a good record at the Dave Whelan stadium and have lost just the once in recent years when Wigan won 3-2 in a memorable victory for the home side. However, history has to change at some point and tonight would be a great opportunity to put that right. That said, I am a worried man about tonight's game and I see Villa coming away (and again it pains me to say) with a somewhat comfortable victory - its not that I don't have faith in the lads, but it looks a bit of a lost cause when you see the history of the two sides. It doesn't matter because Wigan will come a knocking at Villa Park and claim their regular 3 points so its give and take.
Gary Caldwell begins a ban and he will be sorely missed - Stephen Caldwell blows hot and cold for me and it'll be interesting to see how he copes in the face of Darren Bent and Villa's other impressive stars. That said, Wigan have their own stars and Gerard Houlier has already urged caution ahead of tonight's game because a wounded animal has a funny tendency to strike at a team least expecting it.
Hugo Rodallega, Charles N'Zogbia and Franco Di Santo are in the team tonight as well as youngster James McCarthy. Its also intriguing to see James McArthur in there as well. I like others worry about the back four slightly. Stephen Caldwell is not in the mould of his brother unfortnately and with Villa's good record at our ground, I see a regular 1-2 scoreline to the visitors tonight, but it'll have little bearing on the table.
Wigan 1-2 Aston Villa
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHTS
Things can only get better! Sorry for the late prediction as well.