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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 14, 2008

Scharner: Latics can derail Chelsea hopes

Paul Scharner is convinced Wigan can derail Chelsea's title charge at Stamford Bridge. The Latics centre-back feels the Blues are vulnerable following their below-par performance against Fenerbahce last week in the Champions League. Although the Blues still clinched a place in the semi-finals on the back of a 2-0 win on the night, and 3-2 on aggregate, Scharner senses an upset is on the cards. 'We've a chance. If you saw their game against Fenerbahce, they did not play to their usual standards,' said the 28-year-old Austrian. 'They almost managed to concede an equaliser before they scored a second, so I believe there's a possibility we can do something. 'We recently managed to get results against Liverpool and Arsenal, so why can't we go to Chelsea and get something?' As if to further irritate manager Avram Grant's side, Scharner added: 'I think Manchester United will win the title. We could end Chelsea's hopes tonight, and we will try everything to do that.' The fact Chelsea have not been beaten at home in the league for just over four years, a run of 79 games, would suggest otherwise. Wigan have also won only once in 17 away matches this season, and that was at relegated Derby three months ago. Latics boss Steve Bruce is aware his side face a mountainous task, but in the wake of the results against Liverpool and Arsenal, he said: 'Anything can happen. 'I know people will say `little, lowly Wigan, they can't take on the mighty Chelsea and get anything can they?' 'Well, of course we can if we approach it right, have a go and it is then possible. 'It will obviously be very difficult because they've not been beaten at home for four years, so we know the size of the task. 'One thing's for certain, if we play like we have done at home recently, then we're going to give Chelsea a hell of a game. 'We can do it. That's when you need to have a bit of belief, to have something about you. 'This is why we're in this profession, to play in big games and occasions like these.' Although confident he will have his side physically and mentally prepared, trying to find a weakness in the Chelsea is a forlorn task. 'If they have then I've yet to see it,' added Bruce, whose side remain on course for safety, even if the gap to the bottom three was cut to five points on Saturday after Bolton's win over West Ham. 'Chelsea have a wonderful array of talent used to playing at the top level, fantastic players in their own right, so I don't think they've any weaknesses. 'You hope that collectively they have a rare off night, and that can sometimes can happen. 'But the reason why they're at the top and in a semi-final is because it doesn't happen very often.' Bruce's squad is strengthened by the return from suspension of key midfielders Michael Brown and Jason Koumas.

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