Wigan Athletic take on local rivals Bolton Wanderers tonight at the DW Stadium in the FA Cup 4th round replay with a trip to Fulham in the 5th round awaiting the winners.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez has used the cups to give some of the fringe and youth players a run out, it`s worked so far and he looks likely to continue that trend tonight.
New signing Conor Sammon is not eligible and Ali Al-Habsi wont be playing against his parent club, but there should be a return to the starting line-up for young striker Callum McManaman, also Hendry Thomas, Adrian Lopez, Tom Cleverley and Jordi Gomez will, be looking to get 90 minutes under their belts.
The cup is a pleasant distraction from the current battle against relegation that the Latics find themselves in and a victory other local rivals Bolton would also give the fans some bragging rights seeing as the previous three encounters this season have all ended in draws.
The tie will be settled one way or another this evening, a draw after 90 minutes will lead to extra time and a penalties if a winner cant be found during this time.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘I see it as a great opportunity to increase the squad of players we are going to have available until the end of the season’
‘Places are up for grabs because the position we are in the table does not guarantee anyone a place in the starting line-up
‘It is quite clear who needs to have the chance to play and every game is an opportunity for any player to show what they can do and how much they want to be involved until the end of the season.
‘It is an important game we can perform well in and add players into the final run-in.’
Bolton boss Owen Coyle:
‘It’s fair to say that I will freshen up the team and at this moment I envisage six changes from the team that started on Sunday.
“We will do that because there are few that put so much into the game against Everton, but equally I believe that we have very good players in the squad who are waiting to show their qualities. They have to go and show the belief that I have in them and deliver when they cross that white line. We will go there, be really positive and look to progress and earn a last 16 tie at Fulham on Sunday.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Latics will undoubtedly make changes from the side that drew at Anfield on Saturday. Emmerson Boyce is out with a hamstring injury
Player to watch: Callum McManaman
The young striker is enjoying this run in the cup
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Bolton are set to make six changes from their win over Everton on Sunday according to Coyle.
Zat Knight is injured and Dean Sturridge cup-tied, starts expected for Wheater, Klasnic, Moreno, Cohen, Petrov and Bogda
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
Always a threat
Latics and Bolton have faced each other 34 times in other competitions
Latics 13 wins, Bolton 11, draws 10
Last Six Meetings
29/01/11 – FA Cup 4th Round – Bolton 0 Latics 0
05/01/2011 – Premier League – Bolton 1 Latics 1
23/10/2011 – Premier League – Latics 1 Bolton 1
13/03/2010 – Premier League – Bolton 4 Latics 0
17/02/2010 – Premier League – Latics 0 Bolton 0
02/05/2009 – Premier League – Latics 0 Bolton 0
Michael Oliver (Northumbria)
Catch our ‘Meet the Ref’ article
Michael Oliver Card Watch 2010/11
Games – 21, Yellows 63, Reds 6
2-1 Latics win, possibly after extra time
Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday in the 5th Round if we win tonight
If not then Manchester United a week later at the DW Stadium