Good evening everybody and welcome to our coverage of tonight's Premier League clash between Wigan Athletic and Chelsea. Calling it a clash could be lending it an air of competitive ferocity it may not deserve, mind, as many are expecting Chelsea to stroll to victory in the wake of their demolition job on West Brom last weekend, coupled with Wigan's embarrassing capitulation at home to Premier League new boys Blackpool.
The last time these boyos met was on the final day of last season, when Chelsea steamrollered their visitors 8-0 at Stamford Bridge to win the title. It was one of several hidings dished out to Roberto Martinez's men last season- they shipped nine against Spurs, five against Manchester United and four against Portsmouth in some of their more abject surrenders.
But in a bid to drum up something resembling excitement and tension in the build-up to kick-off this evening, it's worth remembering that on their day, Wigan are capable of pulling off an upset. They beat Chelsea 3-1 in the corresponding fixture at the DW Stadium last season, as well as scoring unlikely victories away at Aston Villa and at home to Arsenal, where they came from two down to win 3-2.
Ah, who am I trying to kid - it's men against chaps here and Wigan are going to get mullered, aren't they? Click on the link for the squad sheets for this match.
Wigan: Kirkland, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Stam, Figueroa, McCarthy,Thomas, Diame, N'Zogbia, Boselli, Rodallega. Subs: Al Habsi, Watson, Moses, Gomez, McArthur, Boyce, Scotland.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba. Subs: Hilario, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Paulo Ferreira, Kalou, Van Aanholt, Borini.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
Today's line-ups: There are 14 different countries represented by the 22 starters in today's match: Colombia, Argentina, Honduras, Scotland, Holland, Paraguay, Czech Republic, Serbia, Brazil, England, Ghana, Nigeria, France and Ivory Coast. Fascinating, eh? Oh.
Not long now: The teams line up in the tunnel, with Chelsea's players wearing their away strip of black shirts, shorts and socks with orange trim. Hosts Wigan wear blue shirts and shorts with a white stripe down the left side, with white socks and blue trim.
Today's mascots are two young lads, Ryan and Callum, who are the sons of a Royal Marine named Sergeant Steve Derbyshire, a Wigan-mad soldier who lost his life in Afghanistan this summer. Brave boys. There's a pre-match minute's applause for their dad, after which they head to the sideline with their mum, Kate.
1 min: They're off. Wigan immediately gain the ascendency, with Roallega trying to unlock the chelsea defence with a couple of probing passes. He plays the ball out to Figueroa on the left wing, who sends in a cross. Alex clears with a header.
3 min: Wigan win a free-kick wide on the left, which Rodallega whips in towards the edge of the six-yard box. Cech dashes off his line to punch clear.
4 min: John Obi Mikel sends a raking pass to the left-hand side of the Chelsea penalty area for Drogba to chase. Kirkland rushes off his line to claim it, his own defender Ronnie Stam beats him to it and Drogba gets ready to pounce and take advantage of any resulting confusion. There is none, as goalkeeper and defender combine well to run the ball out of the Wigan defence.
6 min: Mohamed Diame robs Branislav Ivanovc on the left wing, on the edge of the final third and gallops towards the touchline. He curls a perfectly weighted cross around Ashley Cole and unmarked in the penalty area, Mauro Boselli rises and heads fresh air. He should have scored there. Well, at least hit the target. OK, the ball.
8 min: Chelsea aren't having it all their own way here. Wigan are bossing them early doors. "How do you reckon Wigan will fare against Chelsea, considering they've only got three of their five designated vice captains out on the field, not to mention missing influential captain Gary 'own goal' Caldwell," asks Barry Landy. "I fear a lack of leadership on the pitch could cost them dearly. Also, they're just generally a bit rubbish."
9 min: Wigan take the game to Chelsea again, with Maynor Figueroa trying a shot from distance. His fizzing effort was going wide, but not so wide that it didn't scare the bejayzus out of Petr Cech, who dived to his write to punch it in the direction of Rodallega down in the left corner. His cross is cleared.
12 min: Early possession stats: Wigan Athletic 65% - 35% Chelsea.
13 min: Wigan win a free-kick inside their own half, just outside the centre-circle, when Florent Malouda nudges somebody in the back and knocks them over.
14 min: "Your description of the teams' strips made me wonder if they look like this," writes Ian Copestake, as the camera pans to Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson sitting in the stands beside a blonde lady I hope for his sake is Mrs Hodgson.
15 min: Michael Essien tries his luck from a good distance out, but his effort is high and wide.
17 min: There are a hell of a lot of empty seats in the DW Stadium today, incidentally. No doubt the town's proper sports fans are more concerned with what's going on in this League table than that of the Premier League.
18 min: Ivanovic is not having one of his better games. Under pressure from a couple of Wigan attackers, he casually knocks a head-high ball across the edge of his own penalty area for Ashley Cole to clear. The popular England full-back is immediately put under pressure by Rodallega and is forced into drastic action to head the ball out of danger. He shoots Ivanovic a dagger-look, which is greeted by a thumb raised in apology.
22 min: The Sky "action areas" box reveals that 27% of the play has occurred in the Chelsea penalty area and its hinterland, 60% in the middle third and just 13% in the one you'd have expected to be busiest.
23 min: Drogba concedes a free-kick about 35 yards out from the Chelsea goal, well right of centre. Rodallega curls it around the three-man wall and his effort would have snuck inside the upright if Cech hadn't read his intentions, shuffled a couple of steps to his left and caught it. A decent effort, but attempting to beat Cech from that distance is rather ambitious.
26 min: Rodallega receives a pass from McCarthy on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, turns and shoots straight at Cech.
27 min: Apologies for the tardiness of my updates, but I'm watching New Zealand coming from behind to beat South Africa 27-22 in a sensational Tri-Nations rugby match out of the corner of my eye. It's over now, so you'll have my undivided attention. It's still all Wigan at the DW Stadium.
31 min: "Seriously, is there anything about this match which is not a foregone conclusion (i.e., Chelsea win! - yawn) save how many goals plutocratic Chelsea are going to win by?" asks Glenn Easton. "If you look up the definition of stultifying in a dictionary, this will be the entry. And I am cheering for Wigan."
32 min: This may be dull, but not because plutocratic Chelsea are sweeping Wigan aside. They're being hussled and harried by Wigan players whenever they're on the ball, getting no time to settle.
GOAL! Wigan 0-1 Chelsea (Malouda 33) Chelsea carve open the Wigan defence with an attack down the left. Ashley Cole plays the ball inside to Frank Lampard, who shoots low and hard. Kirkland gets down to save, but can only parry the ball left into no-man's land. Malouda is first to react, pouncing to clip the ball into the empty net.
36 min: Expect those possession and action area stats to swing Chelsea's way now that the switch has been flicked. They've gone from being second best to completely dominant in the time it takes to score a goal against the run of play.
37 min: Ivanovic gets booked for running into the path of Rodallega after the Colombian had dinked the ball past him and was attempting to chase it.
38 min: I've just seen the Chelsea goal again on a replay and Malouda's input was top class. He was tucked inside on the left at the start of the move but made a storming run to be in position to finish it. Apparently Roberto Martinez is unhappy with the referee for not spotting a foul in the build-up - I didn't notice one.
40 min: "Did the lady next to Roy Hodgson look like a Sheila to you (not in the Aussie sense)?" asks Ian Copestake. "As that is her name." She looks like she might be a Sheila, yes. She's a very elegant lady.
43 min: "I haven't seen this many vice captains on the pitch since I attended the annual NYPD Senior officers five-a-side tournament and barbecue last year," writes Mike Hanton. "Obviously there was a better standard of play that day too." It's good to see that the quality of gagsmithery is on a par with the quality of fare on the DW Stadium sward today.
44 min: Chelsea press down the left again, with Malouda in possession and Ashley Cole on the overlap. The ball breaks loose and Charles Nzogbia and John Terry both challenge for it. Terry gets penalised, but walks away from the encounter pointing at his head a lot and giving out to somebody - either the referee or N'Zogbia.
45 min: Wigan go on one of their increasingly infrequent sorties into the final third, where Terry is forced to make one of his trademark "heroic" last-ditch tackles on the edge of the penalty area. He's considerably more successful at relieving Mauro Boselli of possession than he was in the same position with any Germans earlier this summer.
Half time question: "In the absence of Joe Cole, do Chelsea have anyone who could get sent off or miss a penalty for them?" asks Peter Roy, who is clearly unfamiliar with the work of their captain John Terry.
Second half: Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba do the needful and get the second half started. Would you believe there hasn't been a corner yet?
46 min: Over on the right wing, Rodallega pounces on an excellent cross-field pass from N'Zogbia and cuts inside Ivanovic. With Alex galloping over to cover, he plays the ball into to penalty area and tries to chase it, but his pass to himself was too weighty, making it easy for Chelsea to clear.
GOAL! Wigan 0-2 Chelsea (Anelka 47) John Obi Mikel picks up the ball on the edge of his own penalty area, looks up and sends a raking 60-yard pass down the right channel for Anelka to chase. The Frenchman does so, Kirkland doesn't know whether to stick or twist and emerges from his goal like a bloke who's walked out of his house, then realised he's forgotten his phone or wallet. He's left to watch in helpless horror as the ball is sent fizzing across his bows and into the bottom left-hand corner.
49 min: That was a magnificent assist by Mikel, by the way, a man who is not renowned for his vision, or the accuracy of his raking 60-yard passes.
GOAL! Wigan 0-3 Chelsea (Anelka 51) Malouda controls a huge clearance from Petr Cech and crosses to Drogba at the far post. Instead of heading home, as you'd expect, he kung-fu kicks the ball into the ground and it bounces back up in the air for Anelka to wriggle between two defenders and head home from all of two feet out. He was offside, but the ref's given it.
54 min: That's 26 goals Chelsea have scored in their last five Premier League games. Eleven of those have come against Wigan and it'll be surprising if they don't bang in a few more before the final whistle today.
55 min: Move along, nothing to see here. Wigan ping the ball around in their own midfield, creating little but safe in the knowledge that Chelsea can't score any goals while their opponents have the ball. Unless Wigan manage to haplessly shank it into their own net, obviously.
57 min: McCarthy and N'Zogbia combine well down the right channel for Wigan and the Frenchman goes down under a challenge from Alex in the penalty area. The Wigan fans behind the goal appeal for a penalty when the ball hits his arm, but none is forthcoming.
59 min: Mohamed Diame gets booked for kicking the ball away in frustration after Alex and Cole had both been called upon to make crucial, potentially goal-saving blocks in the Chelsea penalty area.
60 mins: John Terry gets booked after charging up the pitch to put in a tackle on somebody-or-other. After an hour of play, there still hasn't been a corner in this match. If they can go another 30 minutes, that would have to be some sort of record, eh?
61 min: Wigan get the ball in the Chelsea goal, with Mauro Boselli tapping in after an excellent James McCarthy shot had rebounded off the upright. His "goal" is ruled out for offside, however. Replays show the decision to have been the correct one.
63 min: For Wigan, Boselli heads straight at Cech after getting on the end of a Rodallega cross from the left.
64 min: Charles N'Zogbia tries to gallop down the right flank, but his progress is halted by a sliding, crunching challenge from John Terry. Both players rise to their feet, N'Zogbia continues on his way and Terry fouls him again. It's not the cleverest of behaviour from a man who was booked only four minutes ago.
67 min: "The shocks just keep on coming this season, don't they?" writes Gary Naylor, in what seems to be a fairly laboured and desperate attempt to suggest the Barclays Premier League is something other than The Best League In The World?. Up with that kind of heresy I will not put.
Chelsea substitution: Malouda off, Kalou on. Chelsea substitution from a few minutes ago that I forgot to record for posterity: Ivanovic off, Ferreira on.
71 min: Drogba gallops down the left channel, with Wigan defender Ronnie Stam bouncing off him as he goes. The giant Ivorian reaches the byline and tries to cross to Kalou, but Kirkland claims the ball.
74 min: On the right touchline, Charles N'Zogbia takes up possession, cuts inside and tries to curl a long-range effort inside Cech's right-hand post. Close, but no cigar.
75 min: "Oh Barry, so innocent you are, thinking that a proper English referee would ever send of England's brave and valiant John Terry," writes Jonathan Francis.
76 min: "The Premier League is definitely the best four team league in the world, though that might actually be three now," writes Ian Copestake, who clearly hasn't heard of the Championship, or League Two. "It's better by one whole team than having merely a big two like in Spain or Scotland."
GOAL! Wigan 0-4 Chelsea (Kalou 77) That's too easy. Wigan gift possession to Chelsea, who surge forward, eviscerating Wigan's defence with ease. The ball is played to Drogba who, rather than trying a shot with his left foot, rolls it to Kalou as Kirkland rushes off his line. The Ivorian prods the ball into the empty net.
80 min: Eighty minutes gone. Still no corners. Not one. That's remarkable.
80 min: Chelsea substitution: Michael Essien off, Yossi Benayoun on. Wigan substitution: Mohamed Diame off, James McArthur on.
83 min: The stretcher is brought on to remove a Wigan player - Maynor Figueroa from the field. I have no idea what's wrong with him. He's replaced by Emmerson Boyce.
84 min: "I'm sure I saw you at the Cross Keys pub in Covent Garden last Sunday," writes Sebastian North, who is mistaken. "I nearly said hello but wasn't positive it was you." Speaking of encounters with the Little People, I was, however, accosted in my backstreet Brixton local last night, by a very drunk young man who came over to tell me how great James Richardson is. Talk about tactless.
87 min: That's a marvellous tackle by Steve Gouhouri, who denies Chelsea their fifth with a perfectly timed lunge on Kalou in the Wigan penalty area.
89 min: Ashley Cole is effing and jeffing on the sideline after N'Zogbia avoids a booking for a late lunge on the full-back.
GOAL! Wigan 0-5 Chelsea (Kalou 90) Drogba and Cole combine on the left wing, the cross goes in, Kirkland flies through the air and Kalou glances a header into the back of the net.
90+2 min: Just over a minute of added time to go and this match hasn't produced a corner yet. Could this be a Premier League first? It would be nice to have something interesting and unpredictable to remember this rout by.
GOAL! Wigan 0-6 Chelsea (Benayoun 90) With Wigan's defence rent asunder by an attack down the right, Ferreira delivers the cross and Benayoun sweeps home his first goal for ruthless Chelsea, their sixth of the afternoon and 12th in two games. Wigan have conceded 10 in their opening two Premier League matches of the season; 18 in their last three league games.
Peep! Peep! Peep! It's all over. That's amazing. Astonishing. Unbelievable. Grotesque. Bizarre. Approximately 96 minutes of Premier League football fails to deliver a single corner. Perhaps if Roberto Martinez focuses on that odd statistic in his post-match interview, he might stand a chance of holding on to his job. His team played quite well today and still got tonked 6-0. Only time will tell whether that says more about how bad Wigan are or how good Chelsea are.
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