Latics take on Newcastle this afternoon at the DW Stadium in what is a massive game for both clubs, but for very different reasons. With just two games remaining after today, the result of the match will undoubtedly have a big bearing on next season, Newcastle are striving for Champions League qualification, the Latics battling for Premier League survival
Both teams have been in very good form of late so it promises to be a cracking game, and with a bumper crowd expected the atmosphere should be electric.
There is no time for nerves, or thinking what might have been today is where it matters for the Latics, three points would almost certainly guarantee safety so the home crowd need to get behind the lads and cheer them on, we’re in this together
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
We are not looking at the table at all.
Throughout this season we put ourselves in a situation where we have been catching up.
‘We were fighting to get points we lost earlier in the season.
‘Since February we have found a really good level of performance and that is all I’m concentrating on, to carry on that level until the final moment on the final day of the season.’
‘It would be a big mistake to think that we are safe just because we are outside the relegation places.
‘We all know last season we were in the relegation places and came out in the last 15 minutes of the last game. That shows you the competitive nature of this league.
‘There is only one team relegated at this stage and there are five teams for two places. It would be a big mistake for any one of that five to think that you are safe because you are out of the relegation places.
‘We are really aware and realistic that everything is to play for. We have a unique opportunity of getting as many points as we can from the next nine and we will be giving our all for that.’
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew:
‘You can only enjoy this time in so much you still worry about the next game. Wigan’s form has been great and the fact they have confidence from beating some of the top teams worries me. On the other side, when looking at the boys in training, we do look in good shape.
‘A draw at Wigan would be a fabulous result for us at this stage. Manchester United would have longed for that a bit earlier in the season. But even if we score an equaliser with two minutes to go, I won’t settle for that. We are going to go on and try to win. That is going to make it interesting.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Ronnie Stam is definitely out, Hugo Rodallega and Franco Di Santo will have fitness tests
Latics possible – Al-Habsi, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Boyce, Beausejour, McArthy, McArthur, Moses, Maloney, Di Santo
Player to watch: Franco Di Santo
Di Santo has been superb of late, let’s hope he is fit enough to start and can continue his great form
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Newcastle United Team News:
Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux will both be missing due to fitness levels following injuries
Newcastle from – Krul, Williamson, Simpson, Gosling, Santon, Coloccini, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Cabaye, Perch, Tiote, Cisse, Ameobi, Ba, Ferguson, Taylor, Elliot, Best
Player to watch: Papiss Cisse
To say Cisse is in great form would be an understaement
The Latics and Newcastle have met 14 times in all competitions
Latics 5 wins, Newcastle 6, draws 3
Last six meetings
Premier League 22 Oct 2011 Newcastle 1-0 Wigan
Premier League 02 Jan 2011 Wigan 0 – 1 Newcastle
Premier League 16 Oct 2010 Newcastle 2 – 2 Wigan
Premier League 26 Dec 2008 Wigan 2 – 1 Newcastle
Premier League 15 Nov 2008 Newcastle 2 – 2 Wigan
Premier League 26 Dec 2007 Wigan 1 – 0 Newcastle
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref Article’
Mike Dean Card Watch 2011/12
Games – 39, yellows – 133, reds – 4
Head says a very nervy 1-1 draw
Heart says an even more nervier 2-1 Latics win, as always going with the heart, C’MON!!!
Blackburn Rovers v Latics