Date:Friday March 18 2011
Its time for the fans to get behind the team full force as this Saturday might be the day that Wigan Athletic's fate in the Premier League might be decided. They do, however, face a Birmingham side who have a poor record at the D.W. Stadium.
However, Alex McLeish's Birmingham are not to be underestimated and both sides are desperate for points. However, Wigan hold a slight edge over Birmingham City and their record at the D.W. Stadium, a 3-2 win aside, is testament to the uphill battle that the blues face. However, its a game neither side can afford to lose.
Neither team has any injury concerns of any major consequence going into the game, but we definitely need to ensure that Victor Moses starts with Charles N'Zogbia tomorrow with James McCarthy in the midfield along with hard man Momo Diame.
Up front we need Conor Sammon and Hugo Rodallega and go out all for it but also be careful we don't get caught on the break. A defensive back four of Alcaraz, Lopez, Figueroa and Boyce would be nice as well. I fear that Al Habsi will concede a goal tomorrow, though.
This is a really tough game for both sides and I think that Wigan will just shade a very tough encounter - we have a home game over Tottenham Hotspur next weekend and that will be another chance to pick up some points - if we did the double over Tottenham, that would be a season feat and something really sweet!
The stakes are raised in a relegation six pointer tomorrow - my feeling is Hugo Rodallega will score a goal and that Birmingham will score an equaliser. Its a game we cannot afford to lose. Mark Lawrenson has gone for both sides to draw but I think there will be a winner here and I'm tipping Wigan just to edge a very difficult encounter.
Wigan Athletic 2-1 Birmingham City
ROB'S OTHER PREDICTIONS
Tottenham Vs West Ham - I think this is an interesting game and West Ham need the points and they're on an improved run. I think this will be a hard fought draw for the hammers.
Tottenham 1-1 West Ham
Aston Villa Vs Wolves - Well this is a derby game and last time's game ended in a 2-2 thriller. I think Wolves need to get a point, if not all three for a chance to stay in the treasured top flight. I think they'll nick a point in a lively draw.
Aston Villa 1-1 Wolves
Blackburn Vs Blackpool - This is a game in which Blackburn cannot afford to lose, nor can Blackpool. I think Blackpool look dicey but have enough to avoid relegation. Neither side will want to give too much away but I'm going to go for a nervy home win here.
Blackburn 1-0 Blackpool
Man Utd Vs Bolton - Well this is a game that none of Man Utd's closest rivals would have wanted them to have. They might see it as easy pickings, but Man Utd have to slip up somewhere, but as far as Bolton are concerned, I think Man Utd will have enough but it will be a nervy game. Not the onslaught people may expect.
Man Utd 1-0 Bolton
Stoke City Vs Newcastle - Stoke need to pick up points to be assured of safety - in my mind's eye, neither of these teams are relegation candidates. Both sides are very strong and I think this will be a draw.
Stoke 1-1 Newcastle
West Brom Vs Arsenal - West Brom will get beaten here I think and their relegation worries will increase. Arsenal will want to respond after their shocking run of form and I think they'll give their fans something to smile about.
West Brom 1-2 Arsenal
Everton Vs Fulham - I think this will be a home win, but it will be anything but routine for Everton. It will be difficult for them against a well organised Fulham outfit.
Everton 1-0 Fulham
Sunderland Vs Liverpool - King Kenny Vs Steve Bruce - Bruce had a great record against Rafa Benitez but against King Kenny its a different kettle of fish. I think that with Sunderland's form being a bit off the boil of late that Liverpool will nick this.
Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool
Chelsea Vs Man City - This has all the hallmarks of a cracker - both are great sides and should make for a great game. Both sides need the points to keep in touch with Man Utd. I think that Chelsea will just nick it.
Chelsea 1-0 Man City
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
A win for Wigan and Huddersfield will be a happy weekend.
Date:Friday March 18 2011
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