Saturday, August 25, 2012

Southampton vs. Wigan Athletic preview

Southampton became the instant darlings of the Premier League with their courageous 3-2 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad. Nigel Adkins is said to be the promoted manager who believes in attack the most, and if that proves to be true, then the Premier League is a richer place for it.

Adam Lallana is undoubtedly going to be a good captain for the Saints throughout the season with his tireless running in midfield allied with an ability to dictate play. However, the one name in the squad that has grabbed everyone's attention is striker Rickie Lambert. Left out by Adkins in the start against the champions only to later star as a goalscoring substitute, Lambert will certainly be unleashed at St. Mary's against Wigan's weak centre.

Wigan played the ultimate price for a horrible opening ten minutes against Chelsea at the DW. Under Roberto Martinez, Wigan did display their trademark passing and posed enough questions with their impressive attack. Unfortunately, once again defensive frailty was their undoing.

With Victor Moses now gone to Chelsea, Martinez will either have to make some signings or rely on Shaun Maloney and Franco Di Santo to provide goals, a scenario that is bound to fill Latics fans with dread. Martinez's best solution until some additions are made, would be to include Jordi Gomez in midfield. This would ensure that Wigan at least retain possession through Gomez, James McCarthy and James McArthur. While it won't necessarily add any substantial goal threat for Wigan, it might at least help the defence by starving the opposition of the ball.

Wigan look set to have a perilous start to the campaign again, and will find it extremely difficult at a bouncing St. Mary's, hosting its first Premier League game since 2005. Southampton served notice with their performance against the champions, and if two goals can be scored against Kompany and Lescott in their own backyard, surely Lambert and co. will deliver a victory at home against the weakest defence in the league.