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Premier League preview: Chelsea vs Wigan

7 Apr 2012

 koclokindoblog, 7 April 2012,
Chelsea's attention returns to the English Premier League when they host resurgent Wigan at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The west London club powered into the last four of the Champions League with a 3-1 aggregate win over Benfica on Wednesday.
They were immediately given a vote of no-confidence by Real Madrid boss and former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who tipped Pep Guardiola's reigning champions Barcelona to emerge victorious from the semi-finals.
That aside, both Chelsea and Wigan have experienced a change in fortunes in recent weeks, with the former avoiding a likely Champions League exit under the guidance of new manager Roberto Di Matteo.
For Wigan, a run of three wins and four draws in eight games has lifted them off the foot of the table and just one point away from safety, their only blip during that time being a 2-0 loss at Swansea.
Troubling though for Wigan will be the knowledge they have failed to take a point off Chelsea since the 2007/08 season and endured a horror 8-0 loss at Stamford Bridge as they romped to the title a year later.
Key to Chelsea's recent upturn in form has been Di Matteo's choice to reinstate the likes of Frank Lampard, as the coach adheres to at least part of the template which had served the team so well in the past.
Maligned striker Fernando Torres appears to have benefited from the change of manager, starting five of their past seven games and chiming in with three goals during that period.
Defender David Luiz has grown in confidence under Di Matteo too.
His assured performances at the back have been part of the reason Chelsea has been able to piece together seven wins and a draw in the ten games since the former West Brom manager took charge.
Captain John Terry remains doubtful for the clash having come off against Benfica after suffering from breathing problems induced by two broken ribs.
Wigan will hand Hugo Rodallega (knee) a late fitness test ahead of the trip, with Mohamed Diame (groin/pelvis) also no certainty to be involved.
Roberto Martinez's side needed a late-season surge to remain in the Premier League last campaign, with wins in their final two fixtures capping off a stunning tale of survival.
History would suggest Chelsea are on the verge of yet another three points, but while Wigan looked dead and buried two months ago, a considerably more confident side will stride onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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