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Middlesbrough FC vs. Wigan Athletic

Riverside Stadium

3 April 2015

K/O 15.00

 

Stats and figures:

Boro: WLWWL

Wigan: WLWLD

 

Top Scorers:

Boro - Bamford 16 (14 in league), Leadbitter 13 (12), Kike 10 (8)

Wigan - McClean 6, Waghorn 3, Fortune 2 (1)

 

Injuries and Suspensions

Boro: Suspended - N/A

Injured - Williams, Abella

Wigan: Suspended - N/A

Injured - Holt, Huws

 

Well, it's pretty tight isn't it? Boro go into this match on the back of the 'Week of Destiny' which, whilst producing a satisfying number of points, ended on a rather disappointing note with the defeat at current league leaders Bournemouth. With the international break providing an opportunity to rest following a hectic calendar, the finishing posts are just within sight as Boro welcome Wigan to the Riverside in what should be the calm before the storm of Watford on Easter Monday.

 

It's not been a particularly great season for Wigan. Uwe Rosler failed to build on his decent first season, and it's gone downhill from there. The appointment of Malky Mckay was seen in pretty much every corner as a at best 'bold' and at worst 'disturbing' choice, which could only have been followed by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan's comments which saw him band from football. Subsequently Whelan has resigned and passed chairmanship to his 23 year old grandson. However, Wigan's fortunes on the pitch have continued to disappoint, 5 points off safety with seven to play, a Hartlepool-esque escape is not out of the question but the threat of relegation looms large. Whilst their position may suggest a poor team (rightly or wrongly), they certainly have it all to play for, five points is a tangible target at this stage, and they won't be phased by coming to a team at the top of the table, as shown by their smash-and-grab 1-0 win over Norwich a few weeks ago.

 

With a two week break for most of our players, we should be approaching this game as a must win, a platform on which to take to Watford. Strengthened in numbers by the loan signings of Fernando Amorebieta and Dwight Tiendalli, plus the return to training of Ryan Fredericks, AK will have almost a full squad to choose from. Add into that the almost mandatory goal for Adam Forshaw against his former club, most likely from the bench, then the job should be a good'un. Or they could win. Who knows, it could be a draw.

 

'Interesting' facts about Wigan:

 

  • They have a Pier, despite Wigan being completely landlocked (not an actual Pier)
  • Home to the annual World Pie Eating Championship
  • Home to a variety of musical talents including George Formby, The Verve and Starsailor
  • The town was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War
  • The nickname 'Latics' comes from a locally pronounced contraction of Athletic

View from the Terraces

 

The Wigan forums don't seem to be discussing the game much, however those that are don't seem optimistic, unless we get the 'promotion jitters'.

 

What about us? Team shape? A debut for Amorebieta and/or Tiendalli? Will Wildschut be given a chance on the left or will we be seeing Reach slip and slide down the wing? Will we ever see Bamford and Vossen together again?

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Is it Friday yet ? It feels an age since the explosion on the coast in Bournemouth. Saying that the fortnight came at the right time , re-group and push into the final few weeks/games. On paper looking at the teams this should be an easy win however the Championship has been harder to judge this season than ever before . I would like to see Yanic get a game on the left , Bamford and Vossen to return up top . Tiendalli for me needs to starts at RB also as Kalas had a mare at the seaside.

 

Dimi

Tiendalli Gibson Amorebieta/Kalas Friend

 

Clayton Leadbitter

Adomah Wildschut

Vossen

Bamford

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Dimi, Tiendalli, Woody, Gibson, Friend, Leadbitter, Forshaw, Adomah, Vossen, Bamford, KIKE

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------------------Dimi-------------------

Tiendalli----Woody-Ayala------Friend

---------Forshaw------Clayton---------

Adomah---------Tomlin-------Wildschut

------------------Bamford---------------

 

They're scrapping for their lives and as a Malky Mackay side, it's going to be gritty, physical and ugly. Don't want to risk both Clayton and Leadbitter picking up yellow cards and being suspended, hence Forshaw. Woody and Ayala (if fit) to dominate aerially. Tiendalli to make his debut as he is another strong physical presence.

 

This is a game where if we play our cards right we could make up some goal difference on Watford and Bournemouth. I'd like to see Wildschut start as against a pretty poor defence, his directness and physicality will offer a lot more than Reach. Bamford to play up front where he belongs with Tomlin sitting in just behind to offer some creativity (hopefully).

 

I'm saying this is going to be a comfortable 3-0 win and we will be back in the auto slots by the end of the day. Muzzy to score on his debut against Norwich to peg them back. Bamford to score a brace either side of an absolute banger from Tomlin.

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Yey! Proper football! Ive been soooo bored. Im gonna hazard a guess at 2-0 with leadbitter and adomah to score

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Omeruo looks like he's out, and I'd be surprised to see Amorebieta start - Venezuela have a game tomorrow, which means he won't train with us at all before Friday, if he's even back in time.

I'm hoping either Woody or Ayala will be cleared to play this one. Other than possibly Vossen for Tomlin, I think MMC has the line up I'd go with. Not sure about Wildschut though, maybe Nsue might get the nod on the left.

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On paper this should be an easy win to most but I certainly am not of that opinion especially in view of how Wigan have faired against those teams in and around us.

 

Both Bournemouth and Watford have done the double over Wigan which is of no surprise but in terms of the rest then here are their results up till now.

 

Against Norwich Wigan lost at home and won at Carrow Road

Against Ipswich they lost at home and drew at Ipswich

Against Derby so far they have won away.

 

We drew at their place after a struggle and it would not surprise me to see a draw as a final result unless we go into this game and batter them from the off.

 

This has to be a must win game and we need to score as many as possible I believe

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Personally I think both Clayton and Tomlin haven't done too well in the last couple of games and it's time to give Forshaw a go from the start. He himself hasn't lit things up as such but now could be his oppurtunity.

 

Whilst 3pts is a must we should look to see what other in the squad have

 

I would go

 

Dimi

Tiendelli Woody/Ayala Gibbo Friend

Leadbitter Forshaw

Adomah Bamford Reach

Vossen

 

I would like us to go all guns blazing from kick off and it's important to get a convincing win to set up the Watford game nicely!

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need a win here and a decent one at that im going 3-0. with the break we have had and time to go over the bournemouth game i expect the team to go out and make right what went wrong. Ayala should be back which is a big must. hoping Bamford is over his injury now and can find the backof the net.

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Must admit I'm a tad nervous about this game, one we should win and win well but Wigan will be fighting for their lives so maybe harder than most thing.

Essential we get back to winning ways though so need a professional performance, three points and a good improvement to the goal difference.

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We are coming home for this, hopefully my good luck charm on home form this season will come good (admittedly only 3 games but 8-0 aggregate). I would like to see someone else other than Reach out on the left, he seems to have taken to wearing ice skates.

 

Horrible, dirty and scrappy from Wigan, but i think a nervy 2-0

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We normally come back stronger after an international break so I'm looking forward to this one and reckon we could see a convincing win.

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