RIML Posted November 2, 2010 Share Posted November 2, 2010 Wigan Preview Is it too early to say this game is a six pointer? Since Wigan were promoted in 2005 this fixture has averaged 3.3 goals per game with Rovers winning 6 of the 10 meetings in the Premier League, drawing 2 and losing 2. No surprise that there’s been more cards in this fixture than goals. Having not lost at home to Wigan in the Premier League, we will be favourites to win this game and most Rovers fans will expect nothing less than three points. Previous Meetings There have been some memorable fixtures in the last five years, from great goals from Reid, Roque and Pedersen, to the game with just about everything - two players scoring hat-tricks, a sending off and two controversial goals. Not forgetting the game in which Samba was sent off early on but we still won comfortably, Palacios was sent off for Wigan in that game too. Also losing this fixture 3-0 was the end for Paul Ince. For me the most memorable game against Wigan was back in April 2009, we played host to Wigan Athletic at Ewood Park with just 34 points going into this game and only 3 points above the relegation zone. Wigan, however were sitting pretty in 10th place. Middlesbrough had lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the early kick off before our game, so a win would almost guarantee our Premier League status for another season. I wasn’t at Ewood Park for the Wigan game; instead I was down at the Sky Sports Studios in London commentating on the game in the Fanzone booth. I don’t remember much of the first half, but just before half time Benni McCarthy scored to give us a 1-0 lead going into the break. I remember saying “what a great time to score” and screaming really loud, as you do At half time I was confident we’d go on to win the game and score another goal. I have to give Samba some credit for this too; he was fouled which resulted in a free kick about 20 yards out. I seem to remember it was a dubious decision by Peter Walton to award the free kick. Then from Benni McCarthy's free kick Samba wrestled Kirkland (see image below) there was Ryan Nelsen to flick the ball into the net to make it 2-0 and score his first goal for Rovers after 140 appearances. I screamed “Nelsen, his first goal ever for Rovers, I love you, I love you” and out came my ‘who ate all the pies’ t-shirt. Nelsen made me the happiest person in the world on that day. This is why I love him so much, but you all knew that anyway! WARNING – Cringe Alert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDJWiqpye64 Wigan Preview cont. So we’re now second bottom in the Form Table just above Wolves having only picked up 5 points from our last 6 games, not the start we all wanted but as we all know - it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish (something Jason Roberts can’t do) and Wigan are not exactly on fine form. Wigan’s results so far this season Wigan 0 – 4 Blackpool Wigan 0 – 6 Chelsea Tottenham 0 – 1 Wigan Wigan 1 – 1 Sunderland Wigan 0 – 2 Man City Birmingham 0 – 0 Wigan Wigan 2 – 0 Wolverhampton Newcastle 2 – 2 Wigan Wigan 1 – 1 Bolton Fulham 2 – 0 Wigan Compare that to our results this season and I’d say we’ve had a few tougher games against the likes of Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool. We’ve also matched or bettered results (except the Birmingham game) against Man City, Fulham, Blackpool, Sunderland and Chelsea (ok we still lost but the goal difference could be decisive at the end of the season. Rovers' results so far this season Blackburn 1 – 0 Everton Birmingham 2 – 1 Blackburn Blackburn 1 – 2 Arsenal Man City 1 – 1 Blackburn Blackburn 1 – 1 Fulham Blackpool 1 – 2 Blackburn Stoke 1 – 0 Blackburn Blackburn 0 – 0 Sunderland Liverpool 2 – 1 Blackburn Blackburn 1 – 2 Chelsea As you can see, Rovers have only failed to score against Stoke and Sunderland (understandable when we had 10 men for 45 minutes) On the other hand, the only game in which we scored more than one goal was the Blackpool game and one goal was scored by a Blackpool player. Wigan have failed to score in 5 of their 10 games this season and have only managed 3 goals away from home but you just don’t know what to expect with Wigan, they lose 6-0 to Chelsea one week but beat Tottenham the week after. They've kept two clean sheets away from home and we've only kept two in both our home and away games. On that evidence, a 1-0 win for Rovers could be a good bet. Let’s hope we keep the same side from last week and Benjani and Givet are fit. According to the Daily Mail we played a 4123 formation against Chelsea Robinson Salgado Samba Nelsen Givet Jones Emerton Pedersen MB Diouf Benjani EH Diouf Wigan played a 451 formation against Fulham Al Habsi Stam G Caldwell Alcarez Figueroa N’Zogbia Diame Thomas Cleverley Rodellega Di Santo I know we’re capable of beating that Wigan side but I’m not underestimating them. I think they have a few decent attacking options with N’Zogbia, Cleverley, Rodellega and......Di Santo Also Wigan had attacking options on the bench against Fulham - Gomez, Moses and Boselli. With Wigan likely to play five in midfield, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam changed the formation slightly. Also, according to ESPN, Rovers have only had 29 shots on target this season to Wigan’s 42, I know we can take a lot of positives from the Chelsea game but we’re just simply not creating enough chances and scoring enough goals so this game might not be as easy as you think. Q&A A Latics supporter I went to school with agreed to answer a few questions You were tipped by so many to be relegated at the start of the season and are still 5/4 odds to be relegated. (Now odds of 5/6) Would you swap the inexperience of Roberto Martinez for the experience of Sam Allardyce who has a decent record of keeping teams in the Premier League? Every season since being promoted to this Division we are favourites to be in the bottom 3, yet 6 seasons later we are still here. Even with someone like Allardyce in charge we would still probably be one of the favourites to go down. I wouldn’t swap Martinez for Allardyce, no. However, that is more personal preference as Martinez is a Wigan legend, and I’m not particularly a fan of the way Allardyce gets his team to play the game. Name one Rovers player you would like to see at Wigan. Definitely Samba. I think central defence is currently one of our weakest areas; he would be exactly the type of guy I’d happily see in the Wigan back four. In your opinion which Rovers player poses the biggest threat in this game? Probably Kalinic. Looks like a decent striker and could potentially cause us some problems at the back. Where do you think Wigan and Rovers will finish in the league this season? Wigan – 15th, Blackburn – 14th You are on a decent run in the Carling Cup, do you think you will go one better than in the 2005/2006 season? And by that I don’t mean losing 4-1 in the final but winning your first major trophy. Firstly, we lost 4-0 in the final! Hopefully if we get a decent draw next round we can go on to the semi’s, and who knows? Nobody expected us to make the final last time, especially drawing Arsenal in the semi-final. I’d love to win the League Cup though, I’d happily take a League Cup win and finish 17th. I hope we play our strongest XI for the remaining games in the competition. If you don’t play these cup games to try and win it, what is the point in being in it? A lot of Wigan players have moved onto ‘bigger clubs’ and you have received a decent amount in transfer fees, are you happy with Martinez’s replacements? Or do you feel he showed his inexperience in the transfer market by spending £2 million on a player like Jason Scotland? I think it showed a lot of inexperience to spend £2million on a 30 year old Championship striker. It’s a big step up to the Prem, and Scotland proved that. He was awful. I’m also not impressed with Jordi Gomez who Martinez brought from Swansea as well. Boselli has looked sh*t as well so far. All in all, not too impressed with his transfer purchases so far. Franco Di Santo apparently said this about Rovers, "We cannot compare Blackburn, which is just a mid-table club, to a Chelsea side that has the best players in the world." Now he’s no longer at Chelsea do you think he has realised he is not one of the ‘best players in the world’ Do you feel he is using Wigan as a stepping stone to join a bigger club? Or has the move brought him down to earth? I’ve only seen Di Santo in a handful of games for us, but so far I’ve not been overly impressed with him. Runs around a lot, but doesn’t seem to actually do much. Obviously its early days for us, but from what I’ve heard off Blackburn fans as well, I’m not holding out too much hope. I’m not sure where he thinks he belongs, but I’d say mid table to bottom of the Premier League is roughly where he belongs. What did you think of my appearance on Sky Sports’ Fanzone? I must admit I didn’t like the female commentator on Match of the Day but I’d like to think I did a better job than her. Lol! I only caught the few bits that you posted on facebook, I found it pretty funny! I would never watch that fanzone thing anyway, but I’m sure it was an enjoyable afternoon to take part in it. What do you think of the proposed takeover at Blackburn? Do you think the wealthy foreign owners buying English clubs is a good thing for English football or do you feel it is ruining the beautiful game. Don’t really have much of an opinion of the proposed takeover of Blackburn. From what I’ve read online it seems they aren’t going to be splashing the cash anyway. As for money in general, I wouldn’t go as far as saying its ‘ruining’ the beautiful game, but it’s definitely changing the English game. It has meant the top ‘rich’ teams can now just easily buy all the best players, making it a lot harder for even mid table teams to compete. Clubs go to places like Stamford Bridge now and are delighted with a point, nobody really goes there and has a real go at it. I think it makes the league more boring for fans of smaller teams like Wigan, Blackburn, Bolton etc. Probably more exciting for the armchair fan who sits down to watch the best players in the world on Sky though. And finally your prediction for the game Could go either way, but my money would be on a 1-1 draw. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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