A Very Late Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs Wigan Athletic

WEST BROMWICH ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Karl Henry of Wolverhampton Wanderers battles with Peter Odemwingie of West Bromwich Albion during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Hawthorns on February 20 2011 in West Bromwich England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Well this is a very very late preview of the game which lies before us today. So without further ado let’s look at what kind of prospect us Wigan fans have ahead of us today, in a game which me and many other agree is a must win for the club.

Going into today I feel a lot more nervous about what the result might be, than I did against Arsenal. Somehow today may not go our way, and could really set us up to lie bottom of the table come Christmas.

So how are Latics shaping up?

Well the return of Antolin Alcaraz will give our defence a boost, allowing the liable Steve Gohuri to drop to the bench. While Emmerson Boyce (yes I so say this every week) could be back in the running if he can complete a fitness test today.

So what does out back three/five look like?

Well if everyone is back fit. The back five for me has to be, Ronnie Stam, Gary Caldwell, Antolin Alcaraz, Emmerson Boyce and Maynor Figeruoa. I know David Jones drops out the equation. I wouldn’t say he has done a bad job, in fact he has been brilliant for us, it’s just our defence would be stronger with Figeruoa pushing wider on the left.

West Brom go into the game after a 1-1 draw with QPR last weekend. Since Roy Hodgson has taken over they have become a much more stable outfit having leaked fewer goals this season than they did at this point last year. They will have a more or less full strength squad, which is likely to be a threat to the Wigan back four.

So who have I highlighted as the West Bromwich danger man? It is of course Peter Odemwingie; the Nigerian international striker who last year went down a storm in the Premier League and has picked up that mantel again this year.

His turn of pace is what catches most people out. He looks to cut between defenders get them on the back foot and run towards goal with the ball. Yet there is also another side to his game, the goal poacher, lingering on the edge of the box, only to enter the fray to score the necessary goals. How I wish we had signed this lad in the summer.

Way to stop him? Don’t let him turn with the ball and run at you and always cover his runs into the box. Since we have a back five one of the three centre halves should watch his runs and track his movement into the box.

Like I said at the beginning i have the jitters about this game. It really is a must win though. Bagging all three points is on the top of the player Christmas wish list; hopefully none of them have been naughty.

Keep the faith!

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