Avram Grant, John Terry and Michael Ballack are all confident that Wigan are going to try their level best against Manchester United on Sunday. Or at least they have stated this in public. Why shouldn’t Manchester United be asking the same of Bolton Wanderers, who now travel to Chelsea knowing that they will be playing in the Premier League next season?
Nevertheless, the Daily Telegraph report that Wigan boss Steve Bruce has cited two million reasons for his team to beat the Red Devils on Sunday. It’s hardly convincing as an argument, especially when put up against the motivation for their opponents to land the three points.
Bruce, who helped United to win three Premier League titles during his nine years with the club, said: “We’ve got to be professional and we will be. The difference between finishing two places in the Premier League these days is almost £1.5 million.”
Wigan were floundering in the lower reaches of the top flight when Bruce took over and he’d certainly have bitten your hand off if you’d offered him Premier League safety at the end of the season. Therefore, while there may be a couple of million to play for, it’s only the same as what the Latics manager might expect to receive for keeping the Lancashire club afloat. We should also remind you of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tendency to phone his former player earlier in the season.
Chelsea will be hoping that Wigan deliver a similar performance to that which beat Villa 2-0 last Saturday, although the six matches between the two teams have yielded the same result every time and it’s extremely difficult to see any other outcome on Sunday.