Yakubu of Blackburn Rovers celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers at Ewood Park.
Sorry that this has come late, and unfortunately its not due to have had a football packed week. Although if you follow the English game there have been some great matches to watch over the past few days and that is excluding the FA Cup final. But I digress to this weekends biggest game (yes you heard me right, who's interested in the big sides battling it out?).
Latics go into this game brimming with confidence and in the pole position to go out and achieve Premier League survival. We won't know till later today what result we will need, but nether the less the lads should be going out to win yet another game in style. And style is the key word here, all season it has been the high paced counter attacking possession game, and until February it wasn't working.
Then along came Shaun Maloney.
I believe that the Scottish midfielder is solely responsible for keeping us up this season. For one he has himself performed magically when on the pitch. Creating that extra yard for him and for others and scoring three goals in the space of a month. But also he has made Jordi Gomez play well. The Spaniard now knows that he has to do everything better than Maloney does, and against Arsenal. The Spaniard could do no wrong.
So with a full fit squad going into the game, it would see us keep the same line up as of that which were rampant against Newcastle United. Now with the bench at full strength, we are likely to see Ronnie Stam and Albert Crusat each take a place on the bench. Not many of us saw it being such a strong squad of players.
Now the opposition. Up until two week ago, where they managed a 2-0 home win against Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers have been on a continual side and weren't looking like stopping. Last weekend they faced a deflated Tottenham side, and I felt like they may nick something (I would just like to take the time to say thank you to Tottenham, their past two results have been fantastic for Wigan). Instead the Blackburn we saw played a very familiar 3-4-3 which saw them sit back and take an onslaught from Tottenham.
Signs are rosy for Wigan then if Blackburn have resorted to copying our formation. Yet that doesn't mean they aren't a team to treat with the same respect we give everyone else. They have the Premier League's fourth top goal scorer in Yakubu to watch out for, and when you feed the yak he does tend to score.
He had a tough couple of years Yakubu and eventually was loaned out to the Championship last season where he failed to score more than a hand full. But a summer move to a fresh club, and he has looked more like his old bullying self lurking around the box sniffing out any chance of a goal.
You have to wonder why Latics didn't get him for the bargain price of £1 million. But he went to Blackburn and 16 goals for a team in the bottom three is no mean achievement, and our defence will have to every single move he makes. Hopefully with three at the back two players can pick him up and stop anything from being fed into him.
This will be closer than close, I can see both teams being a bit edgy and the game going to and draw. But you never know and Ewood Park is a ground that historically Wigan don't do well on.