Sunday, 7 April 2013

QPR v Wigan - Premier League Preview

The Latics head down to Loftus Road on Sunday afternoon in what is a crucial encounter that could see them cut their hosts adrift in the fight for survival. 

After securing crucial back to back home league wins the Latics now face three trips on the road in the league that will go a long way in deciding their fate.  

Roberto Martinez’s men will be confident of continuing their impressive recent run away from the DW, which has seen them defeated only once in nine, since their Boxing Day defeat at Everton.
Callum McMannaman
Sunday’s clash presents the perfect opportunity for the Latics to kill off the QPR revival. Harry Redknapp’s fell to their second defeat in a row on Monday evening against Fulham, where they paid the ultimate price for a catastrophic first half display.  

Saturday’s results have seen the Latics return to the drop zone but are only one point adrift of Sunderland 

Unlike previous seasons the Latics know that if they do their own job they will secure top flight football for a ninth consecutive season. Their recent form has seen a number of clubs above them being dragged into the dog fight and unlike many the Latics are seasoned relegation fighters.  

Places in the starting XI for next week’s cup semi final against Millwall are up for grabs and Martinez will be looking to use this as motivation on Sunday: “We know that playing at Wembley is a unique experience, but we see that as something to enjoy and look forward while understanding the real importance is the league.” 

“Both competitions go hand in hand, and success in one helps to bring success in the other. The competition for places is as strong as it’s ever been. That brings confidence and a real desire for every game you play.”

Ivorian international Arouna Kone has impressed hugely following his stint at the African Cup of Nations, and has netted four in last four games including the crucial late winners against Newcastle and Norwich
Arouna Kone
Kone looks to be the key man in the run in and will once again lead the line as Martinez looks set to stick with the same XI for the fourth consecutive game.  

The form of Antolin Alcaraz has been a huge bonus for Martinez, since his return from a long lay off the Paraguayan international has provided crucial security at the heart of the defence alongside Paul Scharner. The performances of on loan keeper Joel Robles has come as a breath of fresh air for the Latics as he has repaid the faith shown in by Martinez.

With Wembley on the horizon fans will be looking to enjoy their weekend in the spotlight, without worrying too much about matters in the league. Martinez has targeted ten points from his side’s final eight matches and three points at Loftus Road would once again ease the pressure on the Latics and turn up the heat on their rivals. 

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