WBA-MAD Preview: Albion vs Wigan

03 May 2013 04:25
Joseph Chapman looks forward to the Wigan game

It doesn't happen often, but the divides between the North East and the Midlands will be joining together, hoping for the same outcome at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.

That is, of course, because struggling trio Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa are continuing to look over their shoulders in the direction of Wigan – who must win at West Brom this weekend to maintain their own survival hopes. 

As is seemingly customary these days, Roberto Martinez's men produce something special at this time of year to drag themselves away from relegation danger. Last year, a perfect example, winning at Anfield and the Emirates, defeating Manchester United and culminating in the destruction of Blackburn.

They have threatened to repeat these wonders at times in recent weeks, taking a point off Tottenham, defeating Newcastle and demolishing each of Reading, Aston Villa and Everton (albeit in the cup) 0-3. They are in a perilous position at this moment in time, though 

West Brom are becoming accustomed to drama-free seasons these days. Nailed on for eighth place,  six points behind Liverpool, six ahead of Swansea. The Baggies were outstanding in the victory over Southampton last week and will hope for more of the same this time out.

They will have to do it without Marc-Antoine Fortune. The opening goalscorer last week spoiled his performance by earning a needless red card and will serve the first of his three match ban on Saturday. Youssouf Mulumbu, however, has returned from his own suspension. Chris Brunt and Goran Popov are still out.

FA Cup finalists Wigan will have to make do without Maynor Figueroa for the rest of the season. The defender suffered a groin injury recently and so Ronnie Stam could deputise. Antolin Alcaraz will also miss out, and Gary Caldwell will step in.

The Latics have a good record at the Hawthorns, winning 2 and losing 1 of 4 Premier League matches. Jimmy Bullard and Jordi Gomez scored winning goals in 2005 and 2011 respectively. 

Albion won 2-1 at the DW stadium earlier in the season, and after completing doubles this year over Liverpool, QPR, Sunderland and Southampton, they will be looking to complete their fifth here.

If the immediate future is uncertain for Wigan Athletic, one thing absolutely isn't; that's questioning the hero's welcome Paul Scharner will receive on his first return to B71.

Prediction: 2-1

What do you think the score will be against Wigan? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.  

Source: WBA MAD