The road to Wigan fear for West Ham fans
Hammers fans travel to the DW Stadium expecting the worst on Sunday as West Ham plunge towards relegation.
Remember the joy of 2007 and West Ham’s great escape which was aided by a 3-0 victory at Wigan?
This time round a repeat of that scoreline seems as unlikely as Luis Boa Morte scoring a goal, as he did in that game at the then JJB Stadium.
Last season’s trip to Wigan was not as exciting. Hugo Rodallega grabbed the only goal of the game, though in the previous campaign, it was Carlton Cole’s strike that won the day, before he was ridiculously sent off by Stuart Attwell.
The fact that Wigan started this season’s campaign with a 4-0 home defeat by Blackpool and a 6-0 home drubbing by Chelsea, merely serves to emphasise how bad West Ham have been this term as they remain below the Latics in the table.
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Like the Hammers, Wigan have won just seven league games, four of them at the DW Stadium, with Wolves (2-0), West Brom (1-0), Blackburn (4-3) and Birmingham (2-1) as their victims.
Saturday’s battling draw at Aston Villa made it a win and three draws in their last six games, and though it is not likely to keep them in the Premier League, it does show that they are in better form than the Hammers – then again, who isn’t?
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Goals have been the biggest problem for Roberto Martinez’s side this term.
Their tally of just 36 from as many games is equalled only by Birmingham, as both Rodallega and Charles N’Zogbia have eight apiece to their name.
Midfielder N’Zogbia is certainly the man in form. The unpredictable Frenchman has been leading the Wigan survival battle and will certainly be the one to watch come Sunday.
Back in November, the board declared the home clash with Wigan as the ‘save our season’ match’.
However contrived and ridiculous that might have been, it did result in a victory as Valon Behrami, Victor Obinna and Scott Parker scored the goals in a 3-1 victory at Upton Park.
This time the board have laid on free coaches to ferry the fans up the M6, but you can’t help feeling that it will be for a relegation wake rather than another great escape.
Perhaps it can be billed as a ‘Save our Club’ match.
Wigan are not very good, but they are battling for their lives in a way that West Ham do not seem capable of.
A draw will do neither any good, so let’s go for that.
Possible team: Al Habsi, G Caldwell, Boyce, Figueroa, Alcaraz, Watson, N’Zogbia, Moses, Cleverley, McCarthy, Rodallega.
Wigan 1 West Ham 1