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Wigan v Newcastle
Wigan host Newcastle this weekend, April 28, 2012. The game will start at 15:00 GMT at the DW Stadium.
The Latics is enjoying a good run of form recently, with 12 points in 6 games including high-profile wins against Manchester United and Arsenal. Even more astounding is the way Wigan clawed its way out of the relegation zone considering that mid-March this year, a drop to the championship looked certain for Roberto Martinez’s team.
Within a month however, the team notched four wins to pull themselves out of the grave. Still, the job remains unfinished with three games left to play. This means that their current 17th standing is still perilous; relegation is still a reality, and the competition can never get any crucial than now.
Fortunately, they are gifted with a good set of fixtures: Newcastle at home, Blackburn on the road, before ending their season with Wolves visiting the DW. Then again, with all teams struggling for position, one can never say that these fixtures will be easy. Newcastle for instance, is fighting for that precious third spot, and they will be Wigan’s first of three season-finale tests.
A top four finish is well within reach, but first they have to secure the last four games of their season. Trailing third-place Arsenal with a game in hand and only 3 points away, the Toon is already looking fit for Champions League action next season. But looking at their fixtures in the next three weeks should make one forget about the prestigious European competition first; after Wigan at the DW, they play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Manchester City at home, and then play Everton at Goodison Park.
Newcastle is currently the league’s best team in terms of form, and they will carry this into their matches ahead. Alan Pardew’s team has never dropped a single point since March 18; six wins in as many games, 13 goals scored and only one conceded. Of those 13 goals, 9 belong to Papiss Demba Cissé. The 26-year old forward from Senegal has only started 9 times this season, but has already tallied 3 Man-of-the-Match awards. Talk about stepping up and making a lot of noise.
Wigan v Newcastle Betting Preview
Two teams in similar form but in contrasting table positions. The hosts, after spending most of the season in relegation zone, are now hungrier than ever for a win; surely, they would not want their efforts go to waste. The visitors on the other hand, are still in the mix for a top four finish so they should be equally hungry, if not more.
Wigan’s home record is one of the worst in the league; in fact they are second to the last in terms of points tallied at home, only five points ahead of Wolverhampton. This should be a concern for the Latics especially that the visitors are never goal-shy when on the road. Winning this game should involve the kind of defense that they played against Manchester United weeks back, as this is looking to be a pretty tough assignment for the home team.
Verdict: Newcastle to take 3 points, 2-1.
Tip: A 2-1 score-line is tipped at 17/2 via Bet365.com. Remember that Newcastle has been scoring no less than two goals in their last four encounters, so a punt for the game to go over 2.5 goals at 19/20 should be a given. Papiss Demba Cissé goal-scoring touch should also be considered. He is at 5/4 to score anytime and at7/1 to score 2 goals or more.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).