Latics boss Roberto Martinez has spoken about the need to turn the DW Stadium into an intimidating fortress, well let`s hope that its starts tonight with Stoke City in town.
Getting back to winning ways is a priority now that we are at the business end of the season and three points against the Potters could lift the Latics back up the table following their slump to 16th after the 1-1 draw with Sunderland at the weekend.
Latics had enough chances to have put the game to bed at the Stadium of Light before allowing Steve Bruces side back into it, so will Roberto Martinez be ruthless and make changes to the team?
New loan signing Marcelo Moreno got 20 minutes at Sunderland; Martinez has hinted that the Bolivia international could be in from the start tonight, then there is Victor Moses who also made a substitute appearance on Saturday, a full debut from the talented youngster isn`t out of the question.
What ever team the Latics field tonight they will need to be strong and ready for a physical battle from a very direct Stoke side who certainly play to their strengths, news from the Potters though is that Stoke have a problem regarding Ricardo Fuller following the players arrest at 1am Sunday morning concerning a fracas at the JFK nightclub in Hanley, Fuller may be missing tonight but Sidibe and Tuncay are still a formidable pairing.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
“Its important that at home we make it an intimidating place”
“In football sometimes its better to be lucky than to be good, at the moment we have been very good in many areas.
“Last time we met Stoke we stood up to their physicality, their dead ball situations and their throw-ins, in the end we were one kick away from three points”
“We know that we can create against them but we need to be really focused so as not to have any slip ups against the power in their play.”
“Stoke are in a very good moment of form, they got a good result at the weekend against Blackburn and a good result at Sunderland last week.”
“We need to treat each game now like a cup final, these are important games and it is important that we bank on the good performances to get the points”
Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
“On their day they (Wigan) can cause anyone problems”
“We went and watched them against Everton 10 days ago, they were very unfortunate to get beat, they were by far the better team and could have scored a hatful of goals”
“We`ll have to be right on our case and right on our metal to go there and get a result”
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Steve Gohouri is out with a hamstring injury otherwise its a fully fit squad.
Kirkland, Bramble, Caldwell, Scharner, Boyce, Figueroa, N’Zogbia, Diame, McCarthy, Thomas, Rodallega, Moreno, Moses, Melchiot, Scotland, Sinclair, Stojkovic, Gomez.
Player to watch: Marcelo Moreno
The Bolivia international striker could be set to make his full Latics debut
Stoke City Team News:
Ricardo Fuller is doubtful following his arrest otherwise its full strength.
Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Wilkinson, Amdy Faye, Higginbotham, Collins, Lawrence, Sidibe, Whitehead, Delap, Diao, Kitson, Beattie, Etherington, Fuller, Tuncay, Pugh, Whelan, Simonsen, Begovic.
Player to watch: Tuncay
Talented forward who is now settled in well at the Britannia
Latics and Stoke have met 22 times
Latics 5 wins, Stoke 10, draws 7
Last Five Meetings
12/12/09 – Premier League – Stoke 2 Latics 2
15/05/09 – Premier League – Stoke 2 Latics 0
08/11/08 – Premier League – Latics 0 Stoke 0
05/02/05 – Championship – Latics 0 Stoke 1
02/11/04 – Championship – Stoke 0 Latics 1
Andre Marriner (Birmingham)
Read the meet the ref article right here
Heart says 2-0 Latics win, so does the head