Latics face QPR at Loftus Road in the second leg of the playoff semi-final with the tie delicately poised at 0-0. The stalemate that played out at the DW Stadium on Friday was in part down to the Rangers tactics of stifling the game, they may feel that the hardest part of the job is now done and will be looking to finish off the game in style in front of their own supporters.
The Latics though have had some fantastic results on the road this season and appear to enjoy playing away as much as at home, especially under Uwe Rösler who has guided the club to seven Championship away wins in fourteen games since taking over the reins in December, add in victories in the FA cup at Premier League clubs Cardiff City and the superb win at Manchester City, then there is no fear factor to overcome for the Latics.
QPR will need to be more adventurous than they were three days ago, they seldom threatened on their trip up North, by coming out to attack they will leave gaps that the Latics can exploit and I anticipate a much more open game.
There will be a winner on the night, in normal time, extra time or by the dreaded penalty shoot out, this is a game that is extremely difficult to call, two evenly matched sides, both containing the quality needed to unlock each other, it could be a case of who scores first, one thing is for sure we are in for another tense night.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Uwe Rösler – ‘It’s going to be an open game and we have players who can cause any opposition problems.
‘It was a very tight game on Friday between two even teams, we move on and look forward to Monday now, anything can happen.’
QPR boss Harry Redknapp – ‘We’ve got a home tie but they’re a dangerous team.
‘They came down to Loftus Road the other week and played very well. It was a really tight game, we sneaked home 1-0, but there was nothing in it, they were good. I’m sure Monday will be just the same.’
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Matty Phillips and Ale Faurlin are all injured.
QPR possible – Green, Simpson, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill, Benayoun, Carroll, Barton, Traroe, Morrison, Austin
Player to watch: Charlie Austin
QPR leading scorer didn’t have a sniff on Friday, I can’t see him going another 90 minutes without having a chance
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Watson and McCann are both out, no word on either Ramis or Powell. Shaun Maloney appeared to injure his wrist in Friday nights game, but should be fit
Latics possible – Carson – Boyce, Caldwell, Kiernan – Perch, Beausejour – McArthur, Gomez – Maloney, McManaman – Waghorn
Player to watch: Jordi Gomez
Another big game needed from Jordi
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
All we need to know is that the tie stands at 0-0, whoever wins goes through to the playoff final.
Mark Clattenburg (Consett)
Why not take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article
Mark Clattenburg Card Watch 2013/14
Games – 41, yellows – 141, reds – 6
Head says another 0-0, with penalties a distinct possibility
Heart says Latics to win, as always going with the heart
Check out this weeks Latics podcast, there are three exclusives with Ali Al Habsi, Uwe Rösler and Jordi Gomez giving us their thoughts ahead of the QPR game, Ali also comments that he is enjoying the rivalry, Uwe says that preparations are underway for next season taking in to account both possible scenarios and Jordi lets us know where he is up to with his new contract.
Contents: Welcome from a special guest, Ballet Al Habsi! (1:00); Blackburn v Latics reserves (3:38); reality check update (11:50); doing the Chunk Shuffle (13:25); QPR playoffs preview including a quick word with Uwe (16:35), guest punditry from Adam Boxer (21:25) and polarised predictions (30:40); Gareth meets his hero, Jordi Gomez (35:58)
The podcast can be listened to by clicking the embedded player below or downloaded to listen at you leisure by visiting www.buzzsprout.com