Chelsea look to avoid another sloppy performance against Wigan
Chelsea FC face Wigan Athletic on Saturday in game that will shape the future of both clubs.
The Blues are five points behind Tottenham for the coveted fourth spot and entrance into the Champions League while Wigan are currently 19th, but only one point away from being out of the bottom three.
The two teams met in November, with Jordi Gomez grabbing a late equalizer for the Latics. Chelsea dominated possession in the match, but failed to do anything meaningful with it.
Since that match, Chelsea has dumped manager Andre Villas-Boas with Roberto Di Matteo taking charge and leading a mini-revival at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea entertain Benfica at home on Wednesday with a spot in the Champions League semifinals at stake.
Wigan have won their last two league matches, upsetting Liverpool at Anfield and notching a win at home against Stoke.
Where: Stamford Bridge, London, England
When: Saturday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Live Stream: FoxSoccer.tv
Recent history favors Chelsea in this match. Last season saw Chelsea record a 1-0 victory in the corresponding fixture and in the 2009-10 season, Chelsea thumped Wigan 8-0 to win the league.
The last time Wigan earned at least a point at Stamford Bridge was in the 2007-08 season.
Player to Watch: David Luiz
John Terry's latest injury has given David Luiz and Gary Cahill the chance to form a blossoming partnership at the back. Both are still prone to the odd mistake, but they have seemed to develop an understanding over the past few matches after making some dreadful mistakes under AVB.
Wigan are unlikely to threaten Chelsea much during the match, so it is paramount that Luiz keeps his concentration for the full 90 minutes.
Chelsea dominated Wigan in the last meeting, but only mustered a draw because of a mistake at the back. Chelsea need Luiz focused to ensure that does not happen again.
What They're Saying:
Roberto Martinez has experienced a relegation fight before and knows what it takes to beat drop:
There’s going to be many twists and turns and you can only control your own fate we need to work on our points, to have as many points as we can when May 13 arrives and whatever happens elsewhere I truly expect it.
Chelsea vs. Wigan, Who Will Win?
A point or three against Chelsea would be a huge boost for Martinez and given other results recently, it would not be all that surprising.
Prediction: Chelsea win, 4-1
There is a temptation to predict a draw, but Chelsea look rejuvenated under Di Matteo. Chelsea also know that dropping points would be a massive blow to their hopes for finishing fourth.
The last time Chelsea played poorly at Wigan was in 2009, when they lost 3-1. They responded by crushing the Latics, 8-0, in the return fixture.
This is a dangerous fixture for Chelsea coming off of a big Champions League match, but one they should be able to handle comfortably.