Match Of The Midweek: Wigan Athletic 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Is there anyone of a certain age or over that didn’t experience a little frisson of excitement during the summer when they noted for the first time that both Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers would be back in the top division of English football? The press have largely been dismissive of both clubs’ chances of staying up this season, though, and they had something to sink their teeth into at the weekend. While Burnley were being outplayed at Stoke City, Wolves were being supine rather than lupine in surrendering against West Ham United at Molineux on Saturday afternoon. This evening follows another test for them. Wigan Athletic have now been rattling around in the Premier League for long enough to be considered old hands at the art of doing enough to secure their survival by the spring, and they looked surprisingly impressive in beating Aston Villa at Villa Park at the weekend. With its forty-six match seasons, the Football League could be said to encourage flabbiness in its member clubs. If you make a mistake, then there is time and room to atone for it. This breathing space is much more scarce in the Premier League. With eight less matches to play, every match is important. On Saturday, the suspicion was that Wigan knew this, but that perhaps Wolves didn’t. What made Wigan’s win on Saturday all the more eyebrow-raising...

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