Date:Saturday January 21 2012
Wigan travel down to London for a tough assignment against Queens Park Rangers. Its been a turbulent time in part for QPR as their old manager Neil Warnock was sacked due to their poor run of form and Mark Hughes was brought in to stop the rot.
However, against a Wigan side whose form on the road has been good of late, that's going to be a somewhat tall order. Wins at Sunderland, West Brom and a good draw at Stoke has meant that Wigan will go into the game in good spirits.
Sadly, Wigan are missing one of their most influential powerhouses in Mo Diame, who is on international duty abroad. However, it must also be noted that the midfield did well against Manchester City and by no means did Wigan disgrace themselves in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City. Given a bit more luck, we could've snatched the draw but alas, it wasn't to be so now, Wigan will be hoping to go hoopla at the final whistle.
Joey Barton returns for this game and he has caused some controversy of late but having held the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool at home recently, the Latics won't much fear Josy Barton or QPR, but they won't take the wounded animal lightly either.
This really is an important game but for me, wouldn't be a disaster if we lost since we made a great late surge last season to survive so all won't be lost but in truth, it should be a game we're going all out to win. I think the wait for Hughes' first win will go on for a little longer but I'm not convinced QPR will go down and our chances of survival remain optimistic since we're not cut adrift and we have some good, winnable games coming up.
Furthermore, Roberto Martinez has backed Hugo Rodallega to fire and I hope that it comes good today against QPR.
I'm expecting a good, tight game and Wigan's display just overshadowing that of QPR.
Wigan go into the game in reasonable form on the road of late - two wins and a draw is a good return and I think we'll get a return at QPR today, therefore prolonging Hughes' first wait for a win as QPR boss.
QPR 1-2 WIGAN
ROB'S OTHER PREDICTIONS
NORWICH-CHELSEA - This game should be an away win and I think it will be. Chelsea need to gain ground but Norwich have nothing to worry about this season - they've been full value for their good performance in the EPL. However, they will have to wait for their next win as it won't be here. 1-3
EVERTON-BLACKBURN - Blackburn are missing Yakubu Ayiegbeni and that's a massive loss for them - however, there is still talent in their side and they've proven a real team ethos for Steve Kean. Given Everton's iffy home form in parts of the season, I think Blackburn could pick up a valuable point here, without goals being scored. 0-0
FULHAM-NEWCASTLE - Newcastle are doing well in the league this season and travel to a Fulham side who have been indifferent this season but riding a steady ship. They got a good win over Arsenal as well. This won't be easy for Newcastle but I'm going to go for a Craven Cottage classic. 3-2
STOKE CITY-WEST BROM - Stoke can turn on the style on big occasions yet forget themselves on the so-called lesser teams. Roy Hodgson has got West Brom doing well, too. Just got a feeling here that this will end in a draw. 1-1
SUNDERLAND-SWANSEA - Well, what can I say? I've been impressed with Swansea and their deserved win over Arsenal has meant that they're on cloud nine - I think Swansea could outplay Sunderland here so I'm going for an away win. Sunderland have a big test here.
WOLVES-ASTON VILLA - I'm going to go for an away win here as I think that Wolves got a poor result last time round at home playing Birmingham City and I think they've got a bit more in the locker than what Wolves have. 1-2
BOLTON-LIVERPOOL - Bolton have had a poor season thus far - Owen Coyle really hasn't done much for them if truth be told and perhaps what goes around comes around after his rough treatment of Burnley. Their home form has been shocking, too. Liverpool are a very tough team to play against as well and will be fired up to try and get their overall ambitions back on track. They beat Man City and I think Bolton could be in for a tough afternoon. 0-3
MAN CITY-TOTTENHAM - Man City have lost twice now to Man Utd and Man City at home. However, I expect them to bounce back here. Its a big game but I think Spurs will fall short.
ARSENAL-MAN UTD - Man Utd have to win to keep pace with City and their record over Arsenal is good - I see a flairy match between two bitter rivals and I see United coming out on top.
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
Wins for Huddersfield and Wigan please. Have a good weekend.
Date:Saturday January 21 2012
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