Date: 23rd February 2013 at 11:21am
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Latics travel to the Madejski Stadium this afternoon to face Reading in a bottom of the table clash that is vital in the fight to stay in the division for both clubs.

After enjoying the distraction of the FA cup last weekend the Latics must now reproduce that form in the league, with games fast running out this is the time of the season when nice little runs or slumps in form go a long way in determining a clubs fate. Reading are on a nice little run of League form at the moment, they haven’t lost at home since mid December and just one defeat in their last five games has the Royals fans believing that they could avoid the dreaded drop

Latics though are past masters at staying in the division, this is also the time of year when they notch up a gear, today would be a great day to get this seasons run started

What The Bosses Say:

Latics boss Roberto Martinez:

‘In the same manner, if you lose and then go unbeaten until the end of the season, you’ll achieve your aim.

‘It is an important game but what’s more important is that we can be consistent. It is a vital game because it’s one of 12 games left, nothing else.

‘They’ve got a great team spirit, a real understanding of each other, they never give up and the results that they’ve had in the final 10 or 15 minutes of games is a reflection of that.

‘They’ve got a very good balance and now they’re in the best moment of their season in terms of results.

‘We know that they’re going to be a tough team to play against, especially at their own ground.’

Reading boss Brian McDermott:

‘It’s unbelievable what he’s done.

I’m sure there have been times where the club looked at it and thought, we`re struggling, but they stayed with him. And, to be fair, Roberto showed real loyalty because I’m sure there’s been opportunities for him to leave.

‘You’ve got to admire that – the fact that he stuck by Wigan and Wigan have stuck by him. I think it’s a great story.’

Reading Team News:

Courtesy of Vital Reading – Reading midfielder Mikele Leigertwood should be fit after battling through the pain barrier to play against Manchester United on Monday.

McDermott will also give a late fitness test to winger Jimmy Kebe who missed out on Monday due to injury. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and striker Jason Roberts are still not in contention for selection.

Reading from: Federici, Harte, Mariappa, Pearce, Kelly, McAnuff, McCleary, Leigertwood, Kebe, Blackman, Le Fondre, Akpan, Pogrebnyak, Hunt, Morrison, Taylor, Karacan, Shorey.

Player to watch: Adam Le Fondre

Hitting the headlines with late, late goals this season, definitely one to watch

Wigan Athletic Team News:

With the injuury situation easing Martinez may have a selection headache this afternoon, Boyce, Alcaraz, Lopez and Miyaichi are all reportedly back to fitness, though Pollitt, Watson and Watson are still out

Latics possibleAl Habsi, Scharner, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Beausejour, McArthur, McCarthy, Maloney, Kone, Di Santo

Player to watch: Shaun Maloney

The form of Maloney is so vital to the Latics, at the moment he is on top of his game

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Any Previous?

Latics and Reading have met 37 times

Latics 14 wins, Reading 14, draws 9.

In the Premier League the record is 2 wins, 2 defeats, 1 draw, our last win coming on the 24th November 2013 by virtue of a Jprdi Gomez hat-trick in an enthralling 3-2 victory

Last Six Meetings

24 Nov 2013 – Premier League – Latics 3 Reading 2
26 Apr 2008 – Premier League – Latics 0 Reading 0
22 Sep 2007 – Premier League – Reading 2 Latics 1
30 Jan 2007 – Premier League – Reading 3 Latics 2
26 Aug 2006 – Premier League – Latics 1 Reading 0
8 May 2005 – Championship – Latics 3 Reading 1

Ref Watch:

Phil Dowd (Staffs)

Why not take a look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article

Phil Dowd Card Watch 2012/13

Games – 27, yellows 92, reds 3

Match Prediction:

Head says 1-1

Heart says Latics win 1-2, as always going with the heart

Up Next:

Premier League
Latics v Liverpool
DW Stadium

The latest edition of the PWU Wigan Athletic podcast is now available for download and features a Reading preeview.

This week in the studio are Barry, Dan, Gareth, Rob and Greg, we are also joined, through the wonders of modern technology, with Reading fan Josh Aspinall. First up for the crew this week is the FA cup win at Huddersfield and the excitement is so electric that you can almost touch it (00:00). Josh joins the chat as the Reading game is previewed (17:20).

Somehow talk flirts to biscuits (30:20) but is soon back on track as we weigh up the implications of a win, draw or defeat at the hands of Reading

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