Where will your side finish in 2012-13? With the season just one week away, our pundits have put our heads together to give you a comprehensive set of predictions.
Opinions and analysis on all 20 Premier League clubs are given here by 12 of our writers and pundits here at HITC Sport. On the basis of the predictions from our 'daring dozen' we have calculated how the table will look come next May.
How does it work? All the predictions are totalled together, the team with the lowest score will finish 1st, and the highest will finish 20th. Here are the predictions for your club.
Verdict - Wigan will finish in: 19th
Highest prediction: 11th, Lowest prediction: 20th.
Dan Coombs: 17th; Wigan now find themselves in the strange position of being expected to stay up, even when the evidence suggests otherwise. Their squad remains weak, and they are still desperately short of goalscorers. With Victor Moses expected to leave Roberto Martinez will be expected to find a good replacement, and quickly. If the returning Mauro Boselli can show why he was bought then he could be a solution up front, but it will be another slog for the Latics, narrowly surviving once again.
Vic Daniels: 11th; At last, a good season with no last minute nerves.
Mathew Nash: 20th; Star Player – Ali Al Habsi. Top Scorer – Franco Di Santo. It takes a brave man to tip Wigan for relegation as they just seem to constantly avoid it. So in my eyes the only way they will go down is in style at the bottom. It’s going to be close between the bottom 8 teams this season who could all potentially go down and I just feel Wigan will be one of them. If they prove me wrong it will be down to more heroics from Ali Al Habsi between the sticks.
Tomo Taka: 17th; Wigan make a habit of managing to just escape relegation and they’ll do so again. They are seemingly likely to lose Victor Moses but should they reinvest that money (£8.5m has been touted) wisely they could improve overall as a squad. Roberto Martinez is a good young manager and has established the way he likes his team to play. Best player: New signing Ivan Ramis from Mallorca will add some quality and much needed assurance in a defence that conceded 62 goals last season. Challenge will be up front. Franco Di Santo regularly starts for Wigan but scored only 7 goals as Wigan’s top goal score. The club conceded twenty more than they scored last season and they will need to reverse that figure if they are to avoid a relegation scrap.
Jake Lane: 14th; Surely their luck has to run out at some point. Not this season- they have an honest manager and one who is allowed by his chairman to get on with things. Roberto Martinez was able to get his players to pull together as they did the impossible last season and this will give them something to build on this time around. Confidence will be buzzing around the DW in the wake of last season’s survival so expect a much better placed finish this year. Lose Martinez though and there could be trouble. Must keep Moses for now and will miss Hugo Rodallega.
Nigel Owen: 13th; Wigan's form in the latter part of the season will give Roberto Martinez great heart. 21 points from their last 9 games included wins over Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and a 4-0 destruction of Newcastle, contrasted with eight consecutive defeats in the early part of the campaign. They conceded 52 goals in their first 28 games and just 10 in their last 10. The team developed through the season with younger players learning on the job, and this should stand them in good stead for the new season. I expect them to avoid the bad run of last season and become a mid-table team rather than relegation threatened. Gary Caldwell turned 30 last season and Wigan is his 8th club, but his experience was vital for younger players around him to feed off, and the captain's role suited him perfectly. Expect more leadership from the former Celtic man this season.
Surya Solanki: 19th; They escaped relegation miraculously last season, but this season, Wigan could go down. The Latics have lost Momo Diame and Hugo Rodallega in the transfer window, and the team just doesn’t look good enough to compete in England’s top division this campaign.
Paul Moore: 19th; I think this is the season they will finally go. Moses will go and I think others will follow. Gary Caldwell is a good centre back but can't do it all on his own.
John Aggrey: 19th; Last season was just a dramatic one at the closing stages for Martinez's side. At even a certain point, it was Martinez the manager that everybody wanted. But now away from that, Wigan never really had a good season last time. Their survival in the EPL was due to some good performances during the last few matches of the league something I really don’t think the side has worked on. Assuming they have a similar run to what they have had, even winning on the final few match days might be a problem and relegation would finally be a reality for the Spaniard and his side. The greatest challenge for Wigan might have to be getting to winning ways early enough in the league. Late blooming at times in this league might cost you your status come the next season and with teams like Reading, West ham and Southampton wanting to confirm safety early, Wigan will have to pull up their socks.
Naveenan Thanendra: 19th; Roberto Martinez, miracle worker. This is the only description to what Martinez has done in the past few years at Wigan and they will need him to work his magic once again, as this year seems to be particularly bleak in terms of outlook for the Latics. The loss of Rodallega and Diame has hit them hard and if Chelsea manages to capture Victor Moses, it will leave Wigan short of some much needed talent. The likes of Ali Al-Habsi, James McCarthy and Maynor Figueroa will have to be nothing but sensational if Wigan is to have any chance of survival. In reality, what is required is further investment into the squad. The addition of Fraser Fyvie seems more of a long term project but they will need him to hit the ground running if there are no further premiership calibre signings made before the end of the transfer window.
Keval Shah: 20th; After saving Wigan from the drop in the past 2 seasons, I believe Martinez’ fortunes will finally wear thin. With Moses seemingly on his way to Chelsea, and Diame and Rodallega also seeking pastures new, Martinez will have to rebuild quickly and bring in players of the same quality. Franco Di Santo is one of their better players they will looking to keep hold of if they are to avoid relegation.
Khiam Barry: 17th; Wigan will struggle again this season having lost the likes of Rodallega and with several clubs interested in Victor Moses they’ll struggle for goals. If they keep him, they have a chance of staying up.
Connor Jipps: 20th; Roberto Martinez's side one again upset the odds to rise from the ashes and comfortably avoid relegation eventually last season. This has been a common trait of Wigan and it is what makes them such a hard team to predict. Time after time the Latics are written off as relegation cannon fodder but despite losing key players they have continued to punch well above their weight. Losing players of the quality of Rodallega and Diame (both on free transfers) will have damaged the squad's depth but both players were reduced to appearances off the bench mostly and therefore their departures shouldn't rock the first team as heavily as N'Zogbia, Palacios and Valencia's have over past seasons. Victor Moses has been linked with a £12 million move to Chelsea, but both clubs are yet to agree on a fee and it could see the youngster stay at the DW which would be a huge boost. On the other side of the coin they have acquired the services of centre back Ivan Ramis from Real Mallorca, a proven performer with the experience to settle in at the club quickly. The Spaniard is rated so highly that former Mallorca teammate Marti has claimed "Ramis leaving has caused us a lot of damage. He was very important to us." High praise that will no doubt fill Wigan fans with confidence. Much of the clubs success wil depend on the talented central midfielder James MCarthy, a player previous linked to Man United and Arsenal. McCarthy has a good engine and is able take control of a game through pin point accurate passing and his tenacity is something many modern day players could learn from. If Moses sticks around and Di Santo and Jordi Gomez are able to produce his best form, McCarthy's play will have a direct impact on Wigan's success. The Wing back system favoured in the latter half of the season proved effective for the Latics so maintaining that formation may improve their early form. Predicting how Wigan will do this season is a lottery. Stick 10 pieces of paper in a bag with the numbers 11-20 written on and pick one out; you're probably more likely to predict correctly this way than through logic. Time after time we have all got it completely wrong so I'm going to go against the majority of pundit predictions that Wigan will be relegated for the sixth consecutive season and predict the Latics will survive with relative ease.
Full predicted table: (1) Manchester City, (2) Manchester United, (3) Chelsea, (4) Arsenal, (5) Tottenham, (6) Liverpool, (7) Newcastle, (8) Everton, (9) Fulham, (10) Sunderland, (11) Aston Villa, (12) Stoke, (13) QPR, (14) Swansea, (15) West Ham, (16) West Brom, (17) Norwich, (18) Reading, (19) Wigan, (20) Southampton.
Where do you believe Wigan will finish next season?
image: © illarterate