Wigan are a side we pencil in as 3 points in at the start of the season. We always beat them and usually by scoring at least 4 goals. This isn’t because Wigan are a weak side. They beat Chelsea 3-1 last season, they beat Arsenal 3-2, and they beat Spurs at White Hart Lane this season.
There’s something in the mentality of Wigan, regardless of the manager or the players on the field, which seems to have a mental and physical block where United are concerned.
Over recent years, we’ve had some title deciding results against them too. Our win against them in 2009 meant we only need to draw one of our two remaining games to win the title, which we did. The year before we played them on the final day of the season and a win would guarantee us the title, which a Ronaldo penalty and 80th minute Giggs goal saw to.
It’s only November, so can be have a title deciding game today? Defining is probably too strong a word but with Chelsea facing a trip to St. Andrews it wouldn’t do our table position and confidence any harm to pick up a big win. Chelsea are struggling at the moment, with the popular Ray Wilkins revealing he has been sacked and will sue, John Terry out injured, Alex playing with a knee injury which needs surgery and losing 2 of their last 3 in the league. There’s no point getting ahead of ourselves but after saving a point at Villa last weekend following a poor 80 minutes of football, we need to go out and play today.
The biggest talk today obviously revolves around Wayne Rooney, who is used to receiving the biggest cheer when the team sheet is read out, but today will likely be greeted with a different reception. I really don’t want to hear boos, now that he has made the decision to stay, but his name and likely substitution on to the pitch will be met with complete indifference from me. Would not surprise me in the least if he scored, given he so often scores against Wigan, and we’ll cheer because it means United have a goal. But it’ll take much more than goals against Wigan to get back any of the respect and admiration he had.
So, Scholesy back in the fold, which hopefully should make a big difference, and maybe we’ll even see Giggs return. Let’s get a good solid performance at the back and another three points on the board.
Come on reds!
The RoM 2018-19 Season Preview is available for just £6. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Juan Mata, a Q&A with the country's top journalists, articles by brilliant United writers, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.