So. Cup final day. The day that used to signal the start of the bit of the year without football that has now somehow been landed at a point of the season with games to spare and points left to play for.
I don’t understand it – you might? Who knows. But this year’s cup final sees 2nd place play 18th.
The multi millionaires vs the team that has somehow fought off relegation for years (but this year could realistically fail) despite having the walking calamity that is Titus Bramble as part of their defence for what can only be described as an incompetent amount of time. This year – the cup final has a clear favourite in Manchester City – but do Wigan stand a chance at all?
Whilst Manchester United dominated proceedings in the Premier League – Manchester City have dominated the 2nd place spot. Their home form this season has been the best in the Premier League– but is has been their inability to convert chances away from home that has cost them so dearly.
City have beaten Wigan home and away this season and haven’t conceded a goal against them – but City also have the best defensive record in the Premiership so that shouldn’t come as a surprise. At home City score for fun but they simply haven’t been able to replicate that on the road.
Around this time of the season – Wigan are a law unto themselves. They find form against all odds and in recent seasons have fought against relegation and survived. This season though that may not be the case.
Wigan have been awful at home this season conceding on average over 2 goals per game. They can score – that isn’t the problem. It’s just their ability to shut out the other team that has let them down.
Their away form is better – but still has them on average conceding over a goal a game. Being threatened by relegation this season with these statistics should not be a surprise. Yet still they fight – despite the odds being against them – in the league and in the cup.
To get a result against City – Wigan will need to show their best form – form that hasn’t really surfaced this season. City will need to be stunned by Wigan and to self destruct.
As I said – the odds aren’t in Wigan’s favour. A Wigan win could push them towards survival in the league – or it could be their last hurrah. The bizarre thing is though – that against all of the evidence – I think they will do it. I can’t explain why and I’ve got nothing to back it up with. But that’s the magic of the FA cup. Anything can happen.
Wigan 2 – Man City 1 (Heart)
Wigan 1 – Man City 3 (Head)
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