Date: 26th January 2008 at 10:48am
Written by:

Wigan Athletic and Chelsea go into this evenings live televised FA cup 4th round tie looking for the win that will progress the club to the next round and a step closer to the final and a Wembley appearance.

This week Chelsea have already made one final getting past Everton in the Carling Cup semis so they will be on a roll

With manager Avram Grant wanting to win every game and every trophy this should be a game with positive football

The BBC have been scorned for taking the step of choosing this match as their live tea-time game but scorned for all the wrong reasons

Liverpools game with Havant would have been the one for the romantics but with the possibility of the Premiership side trouncing the non-leaguers there would have been little entertainment value there.

At least with Chelsea and Latics you have two teams from the same league and both will attempt to play attacking football because the one thing neither side want is a replay

Vital Quotes:

Latics skipper Mario Melchiot:

‘This is a big game for us, Chelsea are a great team to play against, so it’s something special,’

‘While everybody knows our situation in the league, this is one of those games that puts a cherry on the cake of a season because it is Chelsea.

‘It would be a great moment if we could cause an upset, and we’re going to try. This is why the FA Cup is so special.

‘Nothing is impossible in this competition. This is football, and that is why it is such a great game.’

Wigan Athletic Team News:

Emile Heskey has been declared fit and new signings Erik Edman and Maynor Figueroa have received international clearance.

Ryan Taylor is definately out injured, Marlon King is cup-tied and Denny Landzaat is no longer at the club

Latics from:

Kirkland, Granqvist, Palacios, Sibierski, Kilbane, Heskey, Koumas, Brown, Aghahowa, Valencia, Boyce, Scharner, Bramble, Olembe, Cotterill, Skoko, Melchiot, Bent, Edman, Figueroa, Pollitt.

Player to watch: Michael Brown

Brownie has been playing like a man possessed recently and with Landzaat gone he is our midfield at the moment

Chelsea Team News:

Salomon Kalou, Mikel John Obi, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba are at the African cup so miss out.

John Terry , Andriy Shevchenko and Frank Lampard definately out through injury and Michael Ballack faces a late fitness test

Chelsea from:

Cech, Cudicini, Hilario, Ferreira, Belletti, A Cole, Bridge, Carvalho, Ben-Haim, Alex, Sidwell, J Cole, Malouda, Pizarro, Anelka, Wright-Phillips, Makelele, Ballack

Player to watch: Ashley Cole

After already playing ‘away’ twice this week, Cole will find himself once again in the spotlight on someone elses patch

Match Facts & Stats

Previous FA cup meetings:

Chelsea 0-1 Latics
3rd Round 1980

Chelsea 2-2 Latics
3rd Round 1985

Latics 0-5 Chelsea
3rd Round Replay 1985

Latics won the first meeting, when as a fourth division side we beat the second division Big Guns 1-0 in the third round on 14 January 1980 with a superb goal from Tommy Gore.

Chelsea got their own back tough in a third round replay five years later at Springfield Park, they beat us 0-5, with four from Kerry Dixon, one of which was a penalty.

David Speedie got the other.

Paul Jewell and Mike Newell earned the replay, scoring both goals for Wigan in the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in a game that the Latics led 0-2 at one stage

Ref Watch:

Uriah Rennie (Sheffield)

Rennie has only refereed 3 top flight games this season, I wonder why?

The fussy Yorkshireman suprisingly only dishing out 6 yellows in those three games and not a red card in sight, but this will be his first live game this season, lets hope he doesnt want to grab the headlines

Match Prediction:

Heart says 2-1 Latics win

Head says 1-1 draw

Next Fixtures:

Premier League

Middlesbrough V Latics
Tuesday 29/01/2008
Riverside Stadium

Wigan Athletic V West Ham Utd
Saturday 2/02/08