Wigan Athletic travel down the M6 looking to maintain their 100% away record at Birmingham City who appear to be still smarting after Charles N`Zogbia snubbed a move to St. Andrews to stay at the Latics, for the time being at least.
Fresh from Wednesday nights derby win against Preston in the Carling Cup Roberto Martinez will make a few changes to the starting line-up, with Hendry Thomas injured that`s one forced but expect Rodallega, Diame, McCarthy, Gohouri, Boyce and N`Zogbia all to be recalled back to the first eleven.
Playing away from home suits the Latics at the moment, with the pressure off the patient football can be used to frustrate the opposition and hitting on the counter-attack can be a great tactic as was proved at Spurs.
Birmingham are an ugly team but play to their strengths, high work rate and getting amongst the opposition, unfortunately that didn`t come off for them last weekend at West Brom where they got trounced 3-1 , maybe they have been found out?
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘They (Birmingham) have found a very strong way in which to work for each other and they don`t give many things away
‘You need to work very hard when you play against Birmingham to get things your way and its going to be the same on Saturday.
‘They are a group of players that are experienced and make it difficult for you to break them down’
‘I don`t think the atmosphere will be to kind to Charles (N`Zogbia) or any of our players but I am sure that they will rise to that atmosphere’
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish:
‘You know what fans are like. They are within their rights to do a lot of things. A fan will support his team and, if it means giving someone the bird, then he or she will do that.
‘I hope our fans give everyone a hostile reception in the Wigan team, not just Charles.’
Birmingham City Team News:
McFadden and Michel are both out whilst Carr and Beausejour are pushing for a starting place
Foster, Ridgewell, Carr, Dann, Johnson, Bowyer, Zigic, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Hleb, Beausejour, Jerome, Derbyshire, Murphy, Taylor, Fahey, Madera.
Player to watch: Roger Johnson
He does some moaning and crying for a big fellow trying to get opposition players booked or sent off
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Hendry Thomas, Tom Cleverley and Gary Caldwell will all miss out due to injury.
Al-Habsi, Boyce, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Diame, McCarthy, N’Zogbia, Stam, Rodallega, Di Santo
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
Charlie is all set up to score the winner is this one
Latics and Birmingham have met on 13 previous occasions
Latics 3 wins, Birmingham 5, Draws 5
Last Six Meetings
27/02/10 – Premier League – Birmingham 1 Latics 0
05/12/09 – Premier League – Latics 2 Birmingham 3
05/04/08 – Premier League – Latics 2 Birmingham 0
27/10/07 – Premier League – Birmingham 3 Latics 2
08/04/06 – Premier League – Latics 1 Birmingham 1
02/01/06 – Premier League – Birmingham 2 Latics 0
Mark Clttenburg (Consett)
Why not take a look at our excellent ‘Meet The Ref’ article
Heart says Latics win 1-0
Head says 0-0, but I’m going with my heart
Latics v Wolves