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Premier League preview: Wigan vs Newcastle

27 Apr 2012

koclokindoblog, 27 April 2012, Two sides with plenty to play for do battle when Wigan host high-flying Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.

While Wigan's goal is to steer further clear of the relegation zone with another big scalp, Newcastle will be eyeing the final Champions League spot, now a distinct reality given slip-ups from chasing Tottenham and Chelsea.

Chelsea's preoccupation with the Champions League saw them peter out a goalless draw at Arsenal while Tottenham continued their downturn in form with a loss at QPR, meaning Newcastle is now in the box seat with a three point gap over Tottenham in fourth, and four over Chelsea back in fifth.

Wigan are in the thick of it too, though at the other end of the table.

Roberto Martinez's men have hauled themselves off the canvas with four huge wins in six league games over the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Stoke and Liverpool.

That leaves them one point clear of the drop after Aston Villa were pulled closer to the mire with a 2-1 loss to relegation-threatened Bolton on Wednesday.

Martinez has been behind much of the revival and will need to draw on all the spirit his side can muster with games against lowly Blackburn and relegated Wolves to come.

"For Wigan to be seven years in the Premier League is an outstanding achievement and if we have to go to the last day of the season, so be it," Martinez said.

"We are prepared mentally as a club, every point is going to count and it could easily go to the last game of the season. We will give our lives for more points."

Alan Pardew's Newcastle have been just as impressive in their unlikely pursuit of European football.

Following Chelsea's Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona on Tuesday, it would be cruel if they manage to win the final, taking the last English spot in next year's competition at Newcastle's expense.

Newcastle clinically dispatched Stoke 3-0 at Sports Direct Arena thanks to a double from Yohan Cabaye and another goal from Papiss Cisse, who has taken his goals tally to 11 from 11 games since joining the club from Bundesliga outfit Freiburg.

With games against Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton to come, points will not be easy to come by for Newcastle, making Saturday a must-win.

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