Wigan Athletic make the 40 mile trip to the seaside to face relegation rivals Blackpool in a massive game for both clubs.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez says he has been pleased with the performances over recent weeks with five of the Premier League`s top six being faced in as many games, but the gaffer now says it`s a time for wins as the club look to haul themselves out of the bottom three over the next six matches.
This game has the feel of a cup final to it, and whilst it isn`t a winner takes all, if there is a loser then surely the psychological blow that would deal could well put an end to any chance of escape.
Latics problem this season has been scoring goals, with just 29 goals and 13 draws it`s obvious that by being a little more clinical upfront, turning just a few of those draws into wins and the club would be in a much healthier position.
Martinez though wants to forget what has gone this season, he says we have a six game mini-league and if we finish on top of this mini-league then we will be safe, he is right, now isn`t the time to dwell on what might have been but to be positive about what we can achieve, starting today, 3 wins and a draw should see the Latics safe, here is hoping that after today we are looking for two wins and a draw.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘They’ve adapted well to the Premier League and have been able to compete amongst teams in the world’s best competition.
‘They’re not going to change their style or become defensive over the final games of the season, they take risks, play expansive football and go from defensive to attack very quickly and that is why they’ve enjoyed success.
‘Because of that they score goals and you always know that when you play Blackpool you’re going to have to score two or three goals to counter that.
‘It’s going to be a great game between two sides desperate for points with plenty incentives to play an open, attacking match.’
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway:
‘The football they have tried to play is quite outstanding. Unfortunately this level is so tough and there is always going to be someone down at the bottom.
‘But as football managers go, I think he is fantastic and there is no doubt in my mind that he is going to be a top, top manager – not just keeping a club in the Premier League.
‘I think he will have gone an awfully long way by the time he finishes, because he is a lot younger than me and looks a lot fresher than me! He’s been an inspiration to me.’
Blackpool Team News:
David Vaughan is definitely out but Matt Gilks could return
Kingson, Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Adam, Southern, Phillips, Taylor-Fletcher, Puncheon, Kornilenko, Campbell, Varney, Reid, Rachubka, Eardley, Ormerod, Beattie, Gilks.
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
Great player with excellent range of passing
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Maynor Figueroa is suspended leaving the door open for one of, Steve Gohouri, Ronnie Stam or Adrian Lopez, I think Martinez will opt for Gohouri.
Al Habsi, Boyce, Gary Caldwell, Alcaraz, Lopez, Watson, Diame, Moses, N’Zogbia, Di Santo, McCarthy, Cleverley, Rodallega, Sammon, Pollitt, Gohouri, Gomez, Stam.
Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega
Got a feeling Hugo will have something to prove today
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Blackpool and Latics have met 32 times
Latics 13 wins, Blackpool 10, draws 9
Last Six Meetings
14/08/2010 – Premier League – Latics 0 Blackpool 4
26/08/2009 – Carling Cup – Blackpool 4 Latics 1
08/02/2003 – League 2 – Latics 1 Blackpool 1
09/11/2002 – League 2 – Blackpool 0 Latics 2
02/02/2002 – League 2 – Latics 1 Blackpool 1
29/09/2001 – League 2 – Blackpool 3 Latics 1
Peter Walton (Northants)
Why not take a look at our excellent ‘Meet the Ref’ article
Peter Walton Card Watch 2010/11
Games – 27, yellows – 87, reds – 8
Head says 1-2 Latics win
Heart says 0-2 Latics win, either way all I’m thinking about is winning