Middlesbrough v Wigan
Saturday 21 February 2009,
Middlesbrough lost 1-0 away to Manchester City in their last league outing, to make a run of 13 successive matches without a win in the Premier League.
In their last five matches, Middlesbrough have won zero, drawn two and lost three, to earn themselves 2 points from a total of 15 on offer. Boro have scored 1 goal and conceded 7 in these matches, as they currently sit 2nd from bottom in 19th place in the league.
Middlesbrough will be without Jeremie Aliadiere (ankle) and Chris Riggott (knee), although Andrew Taylor may make a return from injury.
Wigan Athletic drew 0-0 at home with Fulham in their last league outing, to make it three successive draws and five games without a league win.
In their last five matches, Wigan have drawn three times and lost twice, to earn three points from a possible 15. To the Latics credit, three of their last five matches came against the league’s current top three sides (Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa), with Wigan earning draws against the latter two.
In these five matches, the Latics have scored once and conceded three times, as they currently sit 7th in the league.
Wigan will be without Mido (groin) and Antonio Valencia (hamstring) for this match.
Middlesbrough beat Wigan 1-0 at JJB Stadium earlier this season, and also defeated the Latics 1-0 in the corresponding fixture last season.
Middlesbrough will also go into this match as the bookmakers’ favourites, boosted by an impressive draw against West Ham in last weekend’s FA Cup encounter.
However if Wigan – and in particular Amr Zaki – can start finding the back of the net again after something of a goal drought in their last few matches, the talented Latics squad should be able to withstand the threat of a Middlesbrough side that is currently fighting against the threat of relegation.
On current form this match looks set to be a close one, with both sides capable of taking points from the encounter. At the end of the day, however, Wigan ultimately have what it takes to triumph in this fixture if they can convert their attacking chances into goals on the day.
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