Fri, Mar 18, 12:05pm by Kevin Pitstock
This weekend seems to feature so many matches that have an impact towards the foot of the table – and this one is no exception. Wigan find themselves bottom of the Premier League and looking, on recent form, one of the weakest sides in the division. Birmingham’s Carling Cup win is no excusefor their players to relax, but since then they have drifted back down the table, and its only goal difference that keeps them out of the bottom three. Wigan are four points Alex McLeish’s team going into the match, and they simply can’t afford to lose or Birmingham, as far as they are concerned, would surely be out of sight if that was a 7 point gap with 8 games to play.
WIGAN ATHLETIC PREVIEW
Home form remains a problem for Wigan, not least due to problems with the pitch caused by sharing it with the rugby league team the Wigan Warriors. They are the most powder puff team at home with three wins in 15 matches, and the only side with fewer home goals, curiously enough, is Birmingham. The Latics have lost their last three matches, but they could easily have earned a point at Manchester City, where they hit the post late on in their 1-0 defeat. The current run does read just one victory in 11 games, where there was a madcap victory over Blackburn. One thing the Latics do have in their favour is a lack of injuries, with just Emmerson Boyce struggling. They do have players capable of scoring regularly in Charles N’Zogbia and Hugo Rodallega – it’s just if they can find a way for them to fire effectively.
BIRMINGHAM CITY PREVIEW
Birmingham haven’t won since that famous Carling Cup victory over Arsenal, but they showed some decent spirit with a point at Everton in the Premier League before that late FA Cup defeat by Bolton. They have a big injury list though – Stephen Carr, Lee Bowyer, David Bentley, midfielder Keith Fahey, Liam Ridgewell , Craig Gardner and big striker Nikola Zigic were missing the Bolton game, and Barry Ferguson hopes to be fit after picking up an injury there. Ferguson’s one of the most successful passers of the ball in the league, so his absence would be a huge concern. The outcome might be determined by who Alex McLeish can pick, and whether he is just happy to keep Wigan at arms length.
WIGAN ATHLETIC v BIRMINGHAM CITY BEST BET & PREDICTION
Birmingham won’t regard a point as a disaster here and with the two sides struggling in front of goal, a 1-1 draw is our pick. The draw, at $3.30 with Sportsbet Australia really does look the one to be on here.
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