Following on from the euphoria of Monday nights win against Liverpool, Latics boss Roberto Martinez takes his troops the short journey through Whelley and Blackrod to face near neighbours Bolton Wanderers and he will be accompanied with the largest away following of the season.
With both clubs involved in the scrap down at the bottom end of the table a victory for either side would be a massive boost, if the Latics can build on the Liverpool result and secure back to back wins for the first time this season then confidence will be high heading into the final nine games.
Bolton pulled themselves out of the drop zone by beating fellow strugglers Wolves and West Ham and although the Trotters took a bit of a pasting at Sunderland on Wednesday in a 4-0 loss their recent form suggests that this will be a tough encounter.
Latics v Bolton games are rarely classic encounters but at this stage it`s the result that matters most and a victory how ever gained will give one set of supporters some bragging rights for a few weeks at least, fingers crossed it`s the lads and lasses from Wigan.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
‘It’s a very important fixture for us and we all know it’s going to be a very different game from the one against Liverpool.
‘I said before the Liverpool game that now is not a time to focus too much on the league table and that’s exactly the same now.
‘We have to concentrate on improving ourselves and make sure we finish the season as strong as we can do. If we do that then we’ll get the rewards and achieve our aims.
‘We must go to Bolton with the determination and desire to re-produce the performance we showed on Monday and make our fans proud.
‘I watched their recent game against Sunderland and for an hour I thought Bolton were the better side. After a great win at West Ham they’re now on the back of a disappointing defeat and it goes to show how results don’t often reflect performances.
‘At home they’ll want to bounce back and we have to be ready for that, it’s going to be a tense derby where concentration will be huge and the little details are going to determine the outcome.
‘We need to be the side that takes advantage of the situation to continue the hard-work from Monday.’
Bolton boss Owen Coyle
‘I suppose we all sat and watched that game wanting Liverpool to win
‘But now it has happened and Wigan have the points, it is not a result that surprised me one bit.
‘Wigan were at home, they are a good side and they have also beaten Chelsea this season, so nothing surprises me in the Premier League, it is a very close competition.
‘That has been seen this season. The top three, four or six – whatever you want to call them – have shown they are capable of losing games to teams lower down. It has happened too often this season for it to be a fluke.’
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Bolton are suffering from a few injuries Cahill, McCann, M. Davies, J. O’Brien, Davis and Basham are all out, Muamba and Wilshire will have fitness test and Ricketts is suspended.
Jaaskelainen; Robinson, Knight, Steinsson, Gardner, Taylor, Wilshere, Muamba, Weiss, Lee, Kevin Davies, Elmander, Klasnic, Al Habsi, Samuel, Riga, Andrew O’Brien.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
Maybe the same old same old but Davies is a handful
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Mario Melchiot and Steve Gohouri are both out injured otherwise its a full squad.
Kirkland; Boyce, Caldwell, Bramble, Figueroa, Diame, Thomas, McCarthy, N’Zogbia, Scharner, Rodallega, Scotland, Moreno, Moses, Stojkovic, Amaya, Gomez, Sinclair, Pollitt, Koumas
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
Quite simply Latics player of the season, full of flair and creativity
Latics and Bolton have met 30 times previously.
Latics wins 13, Bolton wins 10, draws 7
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Find out all about Mike Dean in our meet the ref article
Head says 1-1
Heart says Latics to win 2-1
I think I’ll go with my heart