Latics go into this game very much the under dogs, last seasons final day 8-0 mauling is still smarting and with Premier League survival at stake then Martinez will undoubtedly have his side fired up to battle and out to prove a point.
Recent performances suggest that there is hope, there is a bit of a buzz around the players and they certainly have the belief that they can gather enough points to avoid the drop; anything today would be a massive bonus and add to the confidence in the team.
Latics will more than likely name the same starting eleven from last week`s 0-0 draw with Spurs, a team that is built around youth and quality. James McCarthy, Charles N`Zogbia, Victor Moses and Tom Cleverley all adding great support to Hugo Rodallega, let`s hope that today he can get the goal to give him the title of Latics leading Prem striker outright.
Ben Watson will probably sit in front of the back four and he will have an important role to cut out the Chelsea runs from deep, Watson has been in good form of late and another big game from ‘Ginger One` required.
Chelsea have an important game on Tuesday away at Old Trafford, the Champions League quarter-final swung in United`s favour this week but Ancelotti won`t be giving up the ghost, hopefully this can work in the Latics favour.
It`s been suggested that the Chelsea boss may make a few changes for this afternoon`s game, and whilst whoever he brings in will have a touch of quality, it could well leave his side a little disjointed, well you can but hope.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
‘Going to Stamford Bridge is a difficult game for anyone in the league or European football, but I feel we are excited and we have nothing to lose.
‘Our goalscoring is an area we want to improve but we have created enough chances and are getting into good positions to score goals.
‘As long as you create the chances and get into good positions, the goals will come.
‘The way the players have been working on a daily basis that bit of luck is going to come and I will always measure our goalscoring ability by the chances we create rather than the goals we score.’
Chelsea Team News:
Chelsea have no injury doubts, David Luiz will return and Yossi Benayoun may get a start.
ech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Kalou, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka, Torres, Turnbull, Mikel, Zhirkov, Ferreira, Alex, Benayoun.
Player to watch: Fernando Torres
Not scored for the blues since his big money move, today isnt a day to start Fernando!
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Clean bill of health and a full squad to choose from:
Al Habsi; Boyce, G Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Watson, McCarthy, N’Zogbia, Di Santo, Cleverley, Moses, Sammon, Rodallega, Diame, Pollitt, Gohouri, Gomez, Stam, McArthur, Lopez.
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
Little Charlie likes the big stage
Courtesy of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Chelsea have met 16 times.
Latics 3 wins, Chelsea 11, draws 2
Last Six Meetings
21/08/10 – Premier League – Latics 0 Chelsea 6
09/05/10 – Premier League – Chelsea 8 Latics 0
26/09/09 – Premier League – Latics 3 Chelsea 1
28/02/09 – Premier League – Chelsea 2 Latics 1
24/08/08 – Premier League – Latics 0 Chelsea 1
14/04/08 – Premier League – Chelsea 1 Latics 1
Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)
Why not take a look at our excellent ‘Meet the Ref’ article
Howard Webb Card Watch 2010/11
Games – 37, yellows – 115, reds – 6
Head says 2-0 Chelsea
Heart says 1-1, as always going with my heart