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Ending on an incredible high

Saturday 12th May 2012
A final day without anything riding on it? You're in the wrong job, love! That's what I would have said to a clairvoyant after Wigan's last meeting with Wolves. A 3-1 defeat at Molineux back in November was Wigan's eighth straight loss and the thought of being safe going into the final day was one we could have only dreamed of.

How times change. A switch of formation and a couple of quality additions to the squad later and we have the dream opportunity of finishing in 15th place, with a win ensuring we end with one point more than last season into the bargain. It's been a truly remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Wigan.

It's ironic really that Sunday's visitors have had a season that's been the opposite of their hosts. After three games Wolves topped the Premier League table with seven points from their opening matches, leaving the midlands club dreaming of Europe. They've won just three games since and haven't won now since 4th February. Their relegation was sealed three weeks ago and they can only finish bottom of the pile. Sacking Mick McCarthy in February was a big mistake.

Meanwhile, Roberto Martinez and has side currently top the Premier League form table with six wins from eight. A seventh win from nine this weekend would see Wigan record four straight home wins for the first time in three and a half years, a remarkable stat for a side that went SEVEN MONTHS without a home win earlier in the season. Thoughts of the final day survival at Stoke last campaign are a distant memory, while being a current one for rivals Bolton Wanderers, who have to repeat Wigan's feat at the same venue to stay up this weekend.

Lately, it's just one home defeat in seven for latics. Just five goals conceded in the last seven (two of which were offside at Chelsea!) and four clean sheets in that run is another sure sign of how things have turned around for a side that were conceding goals at will earlier in the campaign.

Indeed, Wigan haven't conceded a goal at home for five hours! Former blue Paul Scharner was the last visiting player to score at the DW almost two months ago. Eight goals scored in the last four games shows that Wigan's mentality is now an attacking one, having scored only four goals in that horrible eight game losing streak earlier in the season.

Wigan have certainly found a formula that works and will barely want the season to end. A win against Wolves would be a great end to what's turned out to be a terrific season. It will also hopefully help carry this form and winning mentality into the next campaign and hit the ground running as the club looks to push on.

At home sell out should witness an extension of this incredible run against a Wolves side who haven't won a game in over 3 months, when they beat QPR thirteen games ago. Having beaten the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in this amazing run of results it would be a tame end to not pick up three points in what should be a party atmosphere on Sunday. When the scoreboard ticks over to eight minutes, a minutes applause will greet the fact that Wigan have already secured Premier League football for an eight straight season.

It will be a poignant afternoon, with the likes of Chris Kirkland, Steve Gohouri, Momo Diame and Hugo Rodallega all saying goodbye to the club they've served so well. We can expect to see late substitute cameo appearances from the likes of Kirkland, Diame and Rodallega.

Although I will be sorry to see the likes of Diame leave, if the club can hang on to the likes of Victor Moses and Shaun Maloney this summer then a few feathers may well be ruffled next season.

Enjoy the day!

Probable Wigan XI: Al Habsi, Boyce, Alcaraz, Caldwell (c), Figueroa, Beausejour, Maloney, McArthur, McCarthy, Moses, Di Santo
Stuart Alker

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