Roberto Martinez takes his Latics side to Goodison Park today to try and shake off the effects of a miserable week, a 0-5 home drubbing by Manchester United and then on Wednesday the Latics suffered the indignity of being the only Premier League club to go out of the Carling Cup in round 2 by getting thumped 4-1 at Championship side Blackpool.
If ever a big performance was called for then today is the day with Latics facing an Everton side that has started almost as indifferently. The Toffees sit at the foot of the table with no points from two games, a 1-6 home thrashing by Arsenal followed with a 1-0 defeat at newly promoted Burnley leaves Moyes` men propping up the rest and the Goodison faithful a little unsettled.
Joleon Lescott left Everton for Manchester City in the week and a lot of the blame for the poor start has been aimed at the England defender for upsetting and disturbing other players, Latics suffered similar with Lee Cattermole but poor starts blamed on departing players sounds like scapegoats are required.
Latics should line-up today with a similar side to the one that started last weekend and the promising partnership of Hendry Thomas and Momo Diame in midfield will be given another chance to blossom, but it is team spirit that is the biggest concern at the moment and Martinez needs his players to start to fight for him and most of all each other.
Last week Hugo Rodallega was left out to dry when surrounded by Manchester United players who were intent on winding him up, not a Latics player in sight and it was left to referee Howard Webb to step in and help out Hugo.
That will simply not do and team spirit, something that the club has always been famous for, needs to return quickly, a win today would go a long way to helping the bonding process
What Roberto Says:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
‘Everton will be a tough test. We’ll need to be able to contain the way they play; they’ve got about two or three different threats, they’re not one dimensional.
‘Being at home they’ll put plenty of emphasis on their attacking play and we need to be ready for that.
‘They want to find a way to kick-start their season and that’s always dangerous to play against.
‘We need to be at our very best and approach the game in the manner. We saw how well we did at Villa Park and for the opening hour against Man Utd, and we need to produce that kind of performance again.
Everton Team News:
Everton will be missing Jagielka, Anichebe, Arteta due to injury and new signing Diniyar Bilyaletdinov hasnt yet trained so looks unlikely to feature
Sylvain Distin has been brought in from Portsmouth to replace Joleon Lescott and he should take his place in the centre of the Everton defence.
Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Distin, Yobo, Saha, Neville, Pienaar, Cahill, Osman, Fellaini , Rodwell, Nash, Vaughan, Gosling, Duffy, Baxter, Jo, Wallace
Player to watch: Tim Cahill
Always likely to ‘pop’ up with a goal and the Latics defence need to watch the Aussie’s runs from deep.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Olivier Kapo is still injured and Michael Brown has left for Portsmouth.
Kirkland, Edman, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Scharner, N’Zogbia, Gomez, Koumas, Rodallega, Scotland, Cho, Thomas, Figueroa, King, DeRidder, Watson, Pollitt, Amaya
Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega
One of the few pluses so far this season for the Latics, Hugo has already scored a wonder goal and looked sharp and hungry
Everton and the Latics have met eight times in the league and never produeced a 0-0
Everton 4 wins, Latics 2, Draws 2
Everton 4-0 Latics
Jo 26, Fellaini 47, Jo 51, Osman 61
Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
Fresh from getting Arsene Wenger sent off in the Man U Arsenal game yesterday Probert stays in the North West to officiate in this derby match
Heart says Latics to sneak a 1-0 win
Head says 1-1 draw