The Latics travel to London to face Chelsea this afternoon and all the talk appears to be centred on Blues boss Rafa Benitez
The word is that if they lose to the Latics then Benitez will be out on his ear, we do have a tendency over the years of inflicting the necessary result on a team to give their owners the excuse to get rid of managers, whether that happens today though is difficult to see, Chelsea sit third in the table, we’re third from bottom
Having said that our draw with Southampton last Saturday may have been the wakeup call that the players needed to let them know more performances of that nature and we can kiss our Premier League status good bye. I expect a far more assertive Latics this afternoon
There will be a re-shuffle in the starting eleven, Kone is back from the African Cup of Nations, how we have missed his power of late, he should go straight back into the team, I can see a tweaking of the tactics and maybe Roger Espinoza slipping down to the bench, hopefully he’ll be back on fire
Anything from this game will be a great confidence booster, we are now at the point in the season when results are all important, let’s hope we can get one today
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
‘It’s an important game for us, in a period of the season when we can’t afford to worry about who we’re playing, but make sure we’re as good as we can be in order to take positive results – that’s the challenge we’re looking forward to most.
‘However, I would say that if ever there was a bad time to play this Chelsea side it is now; on the back of a couple of negative results wanting a reaction at their home.
‘Last season we performed really well at Stamford Bridge when there was real pressure on us and were very unfortunate not to come away with a result.’
Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez
‘All teams are difficult to beat’
‘Wigan have won more points away, so we know there’s no room for complacency.
‘We have to sure that we do the right things from the first minute to the last minute.’
‘Every week is important for us, not just this one’
‘We have to do our best in every game. This one, against Wigan, will be important too.
‘Every game will be important until the end of the season.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
John Terry has pulled out with an inflamed knee, Moses and Mikel are away at the ACN with Nigeria. Ba and Cech should be fit to play
Chelsea from – Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Lampard, Ramires; Mata, Oscar, Bertrand; Ba, Torres, Ferreira, Marin, Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Benayoun, Ake, Luis.
Player to watch: Frank Lampard
Been in great form of late, playing like he has a point to prove
Chelsea Team News:
Gary Caldwell is rated at 50/50, Emmerson Boyce faces a late fitness test. Pollitt, Watson, Miyaichi, Crusat and Alcaraz are all sidelined, but the good news is that Arouna Kone is back from teh ACN
Latics from – Al Habsi, Caldwell, Scharner, Figueroa, Beausejour, Gomez, Jones, Maloney, Espinoza, McCarthy, McArthur, Stam, McManaman, Kone, Di Santo, Henriquez, Golobart, Robles, Campabadal.
Player to watch: Arouna Kone
We have missed his power and pace this past six weeks
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Chelsea have met 20 times
Latics 3 wins, Chelsea 14, draws 3
Last Six Meetings
19 Aug 2012 – Premier League – Latics 0 Chelsea 2
07 Apr 2012 – Premier League – Chelsea 2 Latics 1
17 Dec 2011 – Premier League – Latics 1-1 Chelsea
09 Apr 2011 – Premier League – Chelsea 1 Latics 0
21 Aug 2010 – Premier League – Latics 0 Chelsea 6
09 May 2010 – Premier League – Chelsea 8 Latics 0
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Why not take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article
Mike Dean Card Watch 2012/13
Games – 26, yellows – 96, reds – 4
Head say’s a 3-0 battering
Heart say’s 1-1 draw, as always going with the heart
FA Cup 5th Round
Huddersfield or Leicester v Latics
Reading v Latics
The latest edition of the PWU Wigan Athletic podcast is now available for download.
This week in the studio are Barry, Dan, Gareth, Greg, Paul and Mick who discuss in detail the draw with Southampton (00:00), player performances and formations. The international break (19:25) is also discussed, fingers crossed that there are no injuries picked up.
There is a preview of today’s Premier League game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (21:40)
We finish off the proceedings with a difference of opinion on our survival chances this season, though I’m sure a couple of results either way and we’ll all be in a little more agreement!
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The PWU crew