Despite the unseasonable snow that has engulfed much of the country this past week, Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez must wish it was March more often as he prepares his side for the visit of Newcastle United to the DW Stadium.
Every season his Wigan side turn into a different proposition once Spring hits, with last weekend’s incredible 3-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton the latest example of the Latics turning it on during ‘squeeky-bum time’.
The next step for Martinez is to turn their cup form into another successful late bid for survival – starting with this weekend’s clash with Newcastle.
It’s a game for which the home side are rightly favourites at 6/5 in 3Way betting, with Newcastle 11/5 and the draw 23/10, but a bet on Wigan is not without its pitfalls.
Alan Pardew’s side will be on a high themselves after the late Europa League triumph over Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday night followed the 2-1 league win over Stoke which all but secured their Premier League place for next season.
Key to the Toon’s upturn in form since the turn of the year has been their new ‘French-speaking Connection’. Moussa Sissoko has been a revelation after arriving from Toulouse in January and is 3/1 to get his fourth Newcastle goal.
His arrival has also fired up new strike partner Papiss Cisse to hit injury time winners in the last two matches and and the Sengalese is 6/1 to strike last again. If you fancy any player to score first, last, two or more or a hat-trick, bwin is exclusively offering money-back on any losing single bets on those markets if both sides score in the first half.
With their respective cup form, both sides scoring definitely seems on the cards at 3/5, though this would go against the trend of this fixture which has been won to nil by the home side on the last three occasions, with a repeat 3/1.
But with Wigan and Newcastle combining for over 40 games of over 2.5 total goals this season – I wouldn’t bet on this being a tight one and another three-goal show is 3/4.
The way those goals fall depends much on which Wigan show up – the side who took apart Everton and Reading 3-0 in recent weeks or the one who lost to Chelsea & Liverpool by an aggregate of 8-1?
A good start seems to be key for the Latics, who have taken 19 of their 24 points in matches where they have scored first, and with Newcastle’s likely Europa-exhaustion, they look well placed to do so in the first-half at 13/10.
Given that Newcastle have won just one away league game all season, losing eight, I fancy Wigan to convert that early lead into a much-needed three points in a game of over 2.5 goals, which is priced up at 23/10. That is the top bet for this match, and new customers doing the same with the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin would stand to claim ₤66 in returns.