Steve Bruce takes his Wigan Athletic side into todays game at Chelsea with five key players out through injury or suspension.
Antonio Valencia and Mido are both not quite ready and wont be risked whilst Daniel DeRidder and Jason Koumas have thigh strains and new signing Ben Watson will miss the game due to picking up a booking in last weeks game at Middlesbrough, his fifth of the season so he serves a one match suspension
Latics have drawn their last 4 games, three of which have been 0-0 and a similar score line here today would be seen as a good result with Chelsea being somewhat resurgent under new boss Guus Hiddink.
Chelsea beat Juventus 1-0 in midweek and the score line actually flattered the Italian side with Chelsea creating several chances, notably through Drogba who put in a very good performance and got the winning goal on 15 minutes.
The Juventus win together with the away win at Villa Park last weekend have given the Chelsea faithful renewed hope that their season wont end in a damp squib as seemed inevitable under former boss Scolari.
Today will be a stern test for the Latics but we are no mugs, even with the injuries and I can see Bruce having his tactics spot on and another 0-0 could be on the cards.
What the bosses say:
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
‘I have the highest regard for Chelsea’s boss Guus Hiddink and, when I watched them in the Champions League, they are a very good team with very good players.
‘I saw them pulverise Juventus in the first half of their Champions League tie, so there is not an awful lot wrong.
‘A new manager has brought another intensity, they are going to be rolling up their sleeves and giving it a go – that is normal in the short term.
‘That means we are going to have to work really hard on Saturday.’
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink:
‘If we are focusing on the title then we have to win everything that is true.
‘But Manchester United have to drop points as well and they are a very stable squad. It is difficult. But, yes, we have to win everything.’
Chelsea Team News:
Carvalho and Essien are out and Deco is a majot doubt
Cech, Hilario, Taylor, Ferreira, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Mancienne, Ivanovic, A Cole, Belletti, Stoch, Lampard, Obi, Ballack, Deco, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka, Malouda, Di Santo.
Player to watch: Drogba
Playing with a new sense of belief and confidence at the moment and a class act
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Valencia, Mido, Koumas and DeRidder all out injured Watson suspended.
Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Cattermole, N’Zogbia, Sibierski, Kapo, Zaki, Kingson, Pollitt, Edman, Brown, Boyce, Rodallega.
Player to watch: Titus Bramble
Bramble has been absolutely magnificent this season and we havent conceded in the past three games, Titus has stood out in all three
Chelsea 1-1 Latics
Total League Fixtures:
Chelsea 6 wins, Latics 0, Draws 1
Lee Probert (Gloucester
Games – 5
Yellows – 13
Reds – 0
Heart says 0-0 draw
Head says 2-0 loss
I always go with my heart
Latics Vs West Ham Utd