So, here it is the final fixture of Aston Villa’s drastic transition season…
Martinez focus is on his own fans for the Villa game
“My priority is to prepare well for the game and make sure we have a really good time with the fans. Against Aston Villa we have to share our feelings with the supporters and I want the whole crowd to be extremely proud of Wigan Athletic.”
It’s been a tough season, but Lambert believes the future is bright:
“I think the players have been unbelievable. This is a club in transition and it’s been a really tough year but we stuck with our principles and the crowd have stuck with us. It’s a building block – small steps. Every game we had to win, we won. Sunderland, Stoke, Reading, West Ham, Norwich – other than Manchester United when we got turned over when they were unbelievable. And in Gabby, Weimann and Benteke we had goals in us.”
Match Difficulty Grade
C Villa should play with confidence given their Premier League safety, but Wigan will be keen to give their fans one last top-flight match (for now) to cheer about. It should be a carnival atmosphere in the stands, which may spread to the pitch in what should be an open game.
Form is Temporary
Current Premier League form table (last six games) – Wigan – 17th / Aston Villa – 8th
Wigan: Last five Premier League matches at home: W 2, D 1, L 2
Aston Villa: Last five Premier League matches away: W 3, L 2
In the last five meetings at the DW Stadium, Villa have won four times and drawn once.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Nobody wanted the season to end in what could have essentially been a relegation play-off and thankfully that has been avoided. You only have to look back to December to see the threat that Wigan’s style of football poses to our defence; the 3-0 defeat at Villa Park ranks highly in the worst moments of the 2012/13 season. This time Villa won’t have their main scorer Christian Benteke due to suspension. As Wigan showed in the FA Cup final, they fear no team and can beat anybody on their day. While Villa are safe, there is still a small amount of pressure to finish higher in the table and pick up a million or two extra in prize money, with 11th place potentially up for grabs.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Nobody wants to see a Villa team on their holidays. With the bonus of added finances if a higher league position is reached, Lambert’s side should aim to make up for the 3-0 defeat at the end of last year. It would be good to keep up the intensity of our end of season finish, clearly seen in our last game, where Villa gave the European Champions a tough game and saw a promising glimpse of what the future could hold.
Also we hope Villa and Wigan fans make sure the joint FA Cup Celebration/Petrov Day party is a great occasion.
Why Villa are Totally 100% Going to Win
With relegation pressure gone Villa will be confident enough to play to their strengths, even if Benteke is missing. Darren Bent could be looking to prove he still has something to offer to the football club with a goal or two, if picked. If he isn’t, Gabby’s scoring record against Wigan (five goals) is pretty hot. After their fantastic FA Cup triumph, the emotion of Tuesday night and their increasing injuries list, Wigan could be on their last legs for this game. The fact Villa could finish 11th or 12th would have been unthinkable around the time we last played Wigan, so it’s now a great chance to end the season on a high and re-enforce the fact that progress has undoubtedly been made and the future is finally bright. UTV.
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