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Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers looking to return to the Premier League

Thursday 8th May 2014
Having suffered relegation for the first time in the club's history while lifting the FA Cup in the same season, last year was anything but dull for Latics fans. Following the departures of Roberto Martinez and Owen Coyle, Wigan Athletic have battled their way into the play-off positions under the guidance of the calculated Uwe Rosler. They now the most important game of their season as they prepare to face Harry Redknapp's QPR side in the first leg of the play-off semi-finals.

One thing we know about this Wigan side is that they can beat anyone on their day. They almost repeated last year's FA Cup heroics after another fine victory against Manchester City before being narrowly beaten in a penalty shoot out with Arsenal. They have also had some stunning runs in the Championship since Rosler took charge at the DW Stadium. The German has more than made up for the slow start under Owen Coyle and made sure the FA Cup did not become a distraction to the team.

The biggest problem Wigan face is that they did get somewhat complacent towards the end of their campaign and seem to have lost momentum heading into the clash against Queens Park Rangers. The Latics have won only three of their last ten league games on a run that includes defeats at home to Championship strugglers Blackpool and Millwall.

The two teams last met in a midweek game near the end of March when QPR ended Wigan's ten game unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory at Loftus Road. Yossi Benayoun scored the only goal before being sent off in stoppage time. It was a tense affair and the heroics of both Rob Green and the crossbar stopped Wigan finding an equaliser.

However, Wigan do love the big occasions. Their fans are becoming very familiar with Wembley Stadium and they will be desperate to get there once again. There were big expectations over at Loftus Road and quite frankly, QPR have not delivered. With a squad many Premier League teams would be jealous of and their flying start to the season, Redknapp's side must have expected to make the automatic promotion spots.

Like many playoff games before, it's likely to be a tense affair and the goals are unlikely to be flowing. Wigan must take advantage of playing at home in the first leg as QPR are a tough nut to crack away from home. With over £100m at stake for the eventual winner, both sides will be doing their utmost to triumph.
Alex Anderson
Alex started supporting Arsenal at a young age and witnessed many successful years as a boy, even having the pleasure of supporting 'The Invincibles.' On the other side of this, he has also witnessed the long, painful wait for a trophy and the hurt of seeing his idols leaving the club on a regular basis. His favourite people within football are: Wenger, Vieira, Bergkamp, Fabregas and of course Henry whose signed shirt he has hung up on his wall. Robin van Persie would have been on that list also but we all know the reason for his omission. Alex is currently in his second year at the Univeristy of Central Lancashire where he is studying Sports Journalism and he hopes to get a job within the industry on finishing his degree.

Total articles: 19

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