Roberto Martinez faces up to Manchester United today hoping to get his side back on course following Tuesday`s set back against Wolves.
The flowing football was more of a stutter at the start of the last match and this allowed Wolves to get a hold of the game and catch the Latics cold, today and Martinez will have his troups fired up from the word go.
The Wolves game lacked spark and the players were static, no movement, to make the new system work movement of the players off the ball is crucial, they need to create space for each other and drag their opponents around keeping the ball zipping along. This was evident in the Villa game and is a requirement for todays proceedings as well.
United haven`t started too brightly themselves having the same record as the Latics of one win and one loss and to be honest they have looked anything but convincing. Ferguson has worries about his defence with Ferdinand definitely out and Evans struggling, Vidic is set to return.
The biggest talking point for Latics fans today though is the return of Antonio Valencia just two months after leaving the club he called home. The young Ecuador international got his big move but was modest rather than crass when it came about and seemed a little sad to be leaving.
I wish Valencia all the best in his career, for me he will always be a Latic, but if he plays today I hope he has a stinker.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
“Obviously Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world and they will test us”
“It is important we are as good as we can be and we couldn’t be like that against Wolves and that is disappointing and frustrating.
“We can’t afford to fall behind early against United because it then becomes a very long game.”
United boss Alex Ferguson
‘Our players are all disappointed, it was a bad result for us. But I’m sure we’ll get a response on Saturday at Wigan’
‘We were too frivolous with the chances we had. But hopefully we will get as many on Saturday.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Charles N’Zogbia will have a fitness test but is expected to play, Olivier Kapo is definitely out with a knee injury.
Kirkland, Edman, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Scharner, Brown, N’Zogbia, Gomez, Koumas, Rodallega, Scotland, Cho, Thomas, Figueroa, King, DeRidder, Watson, Pollitt, Amaya
Player to watch: Hendry Thomas
Two excellent performances from the new boy on the block so far, here’s hoping that he can continue his high levels today
Manchester United Team News:
Ferdinand, Hargreaves, Obertan, Rafael, Van der Sar are all out and Evans is a doubt.
Man Utd from:
Foster, O’Shea, Brown, Evans, Evra, Park, Anderson, Carrick, Giggs, Rooney, Owen, Neville, Scholes, Gibson, Kuszczak, De Laet, Berbatov, Valencia, Vidic
Player to watch: Antonio Valencia
The return of Valencia will be strange, after all he is a Latics man.
We have lost every encounter with our famous neighbours, the 4-0 mauling in the Carling Cup final in 2006 was for me the most embarassing
Latics 1-2 Manchester United
Howard Webb (Rotherham)
For a full run down and interview with todays referee click here
Heart says Latics to win 2-0
Head says 1-1 draw
Carling Cup Round 2
Blackpool Vs Latics
Everton Vs Latics