Date: 22nd August 2008 at 1:33pm
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In the run up to the Wigan Athletic Chelsea game, Vital Wigan caught up with Vital Chelsea ed Merlin and asked him about the season ahead for both the Latics and Chelsea and for his thoughts on Sundays match, lets see what he had to say….

How`s your summer been, missed the football or happy with a break?

I`ve got to admit I dread the summer and this one that has just passed was no different. With England not participating in Euro 2008 it seemed to last forever. In an ideal world we`d have wall-to-wall football with no break but I guess those pampered souls need a break every now and then.

How long have you been a Chelsea supporter Merlin?

I got the bug in the mid eighties, a local lad – Kerry Dixon – signed for them and I sort of got hooked. I`ve seen them in the doldrums of the old Division 2, I`ve seen them get relegated form the top-flight and I`ve also seen them fight off the threat of the property developers. Therefore the recent back-to-back titles were much appreciated.

Have you been pleased with your preseason?

Very pleased. The opposition, in the first few games, were not top notch but isn`t it all about getting some match fitness and improving confidence. The master plan seemed to have worked though because after thrashing a poor AC Milan side we then took Portsmouth to the cleaners with a very good display.

How’s life under Big Phil?

Superb!

He`s come in and suddenly we`re like a club that has no ills. The tension of the Grant era has gone and we`re all looking forward to life under Luiz Felipe Scolari. If there is a way up after what we nearly achieved last season, Scolari will take us there.

Are you happy with your summer signings?

I`m not sure they`re complete, I can see one more coming. However, with our current squad I can`t see the need for mass signings, instead Scolari merely went out and injected some class into areas that were a bit lax. I think Deco could be a surprise Premier League hit, wait and see!

Who should the Latics fans watch out for in the Chelsea team?

Deco!

If he can turn in a display to match that which he put in last week, against Portsmouth, you`ll be in trouble. He controlled the game with his precision passing, scored a classy goal and wasn`t afraid to stick his boot in where necessary.

What are your aspirations for Chelsea this new season?

After a season with no trophies you could say the pressure is on us. Personally, I`d take the Premier League as our top priority.

Cup glory, including the Champions League, is nice but nothing beats the feeling of being top-dog in your own country.

How do you feel the Latics will do this season?

Steve Bruce will lead you into mid table and any fears of relegation should be banished by February.

If you had to pick one of the current Latics players to be in your squad who would it be and why?

I`d go for Emile Heskey. On his day he`s as good as anyone up front and he`d fill in nicely for when Drogba is injured.

Who do you think will finish in the top 4 and bottom 3 this season?

Top four in no particular order – Chelsea, United, Arsenal and Liverpool. Bottom three in no particular order – Stoke, Hull and West Brom.

Prediction for Latics Vs Chelsea?

I`ll go for a 2-0 win for us!


Win Carling Cup Tickets with Vital Wigan

Vital Wigan are offering you the chance to win TWO tickets, 1 adult and 1 under 16 for the Carling Cup 2nd round tie between Wigan Athletic and Notts County to be played at the JJB Tuesday 26th August 7:45 kick-off

To be in with a chance of winning you must be a member of Vital Wigan register here

The competition is simple to enter just follow this link and have a go

Closing date Saturday 23rd August 5 pm
No more than two entries per person will be accepted
Please ensure that you will be able to attend the game before entering the competition

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