Latics travel down to White Hart Lane for the second time this season to face Spurs this time its for a 3rd round FA Cup tie on a Friday night in Setanta Sports live televised feature.
The draw has been a little unkind to the Latics not only are we away to a fellow Premier League club but we face Spurs next in the league a week on Sunday at the JJB.
Earlier this week Steve Bruce bemoaned his luck where the cup draw is concerned and with four key players missing through injury or suspension the Latics could well be on the back foot tonight if Spurs put out a full strength side
Latics have never been passed the sixth round of Englands premier cup competition and that was last reached over 20 years ago, we are not what you would call a great cup side
On the other hand Spurs have won the competition 8 times and they are traditionally a cup team though they haven`t been to the final since they beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in 1991 when Paul Gascoigne ‘did his knee` early in the game.
Don`t expect a classic tonight, though both clubs would like to progress in the competition it isn`t their priority this season, Spurs are already in the semi-final of the Carling Cup where they face Burnley on Wednesday next week and they are definitely looking over their shoulder at the relegation spots in the League, they sit in 16th but only 2 points ahead of bottom club West Brom
The Latics are proudly in 7th spot chasing Everton for a top 6 finish and the possibility of European football next season at the JJB.
Whatever happens tonight it saddens me to say doesn`t really matter, the next meeting between the two clubs in a weeks time carries far more significance, mind you like one Spurs web site says, it`s a nice distraction for them from the relegation dog fight they are in.
All the best for 2009
What the bosses say:
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
“For a club like ours, a cup is a realistic chance of winning something and, although I will give some of the fringe players a run out, I will be expecting a performance.
“I don`t have the biggest of squads in terms of numbers, but there are still a few people I can give a chance to.
“Daniel de Ridder, Kevin Kilbane and Jason Koumas have not been starting.
“This is their opportunity to push for a place and give me a headache.”
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp:
‘There are lots of games, too many in all honesty’
‘They are coming thick and fast and there is not time to get your breath.
‘With a squad of this size, we’re fighting on too many fronts. If we were sitting in the top half maybe we wouldn’t be bothered but when you are where we are, you could do without all these games.’
‘I hate to say that we could do without it because I’ve always put my best teams out and had a go’
Tottenham Hotspur Team News:
Tom Huddlestone is injured and Ledley King is set to be rested and Jenas is a doubt
Gomes, Bale, Zokora, Bentley, Lennon, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Bent, Gilberto, Gunter, Dos Santos, Campbell, Dawson, Cesar, Corluka, O’Hara, King, Assou-Ekotto, Woodgate.
Player to watch: Darren Bent
Dangerous frontman and well know to Latics fans from his time at Ipswich and Charlton
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Emile Heskey, Chris Kirkland and Amr Zaki are all out injured whilst Lee Cattermole is suspended and Erik Edman is still not full fit
Pollitt, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Palacios, Taylor, Boyce, Kilbane, Brown, Koumas, De Ridder, Camara, Kingson, Cwyka, Kupisz
Player to watch: Wilson Palacios
A lot will rest on Wilsons shoulders tonight and a big performance is required from the talented Honduran
Latics have never met Spurs in the Cup and all previous meetings have been in the Premier League
Spurs 3 wins, Latics 0, draws 3
Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)
Premier League Card Watch
Games – 14
Yellows – 38
Reds – 1
Heart says Latics win 1-2
Head says 1-1 draw
Latics Vs Spurs