Latics travel the 40 miles or so down the M6 with one thing on their minds, three points, would three points be enough to keep our Premier League status? The maths say maybe not but in reality they should be.
Stoke are no mugs, they are a strong side that can play a bit also, its their last game of the season and its at home, they will want to go out on a high, anyone who thinks this will be some sort of easy game are sadly mistaken, but the Latics have got to play a high intensity game like last weekend and take the chances as they arise.
Im just too nervous to talk about the game, see you all at the Britannia Stadium
‘I don’t think you can take much from Stoke’s defeat at Eastlands in the week, following a very demanding cup final last weekend.
‘At home, their form this season has been phenomenal and Tony Pulis has amassed a group of players who have mastered what they are good at.
‘From dead-ball situations they are very effective and they don’t get enough credit for how good they are during long spells of games.
‘They have some very influential players on the ball and, of course, the atmosphere the Britannia Stadium creates is a unique one making it difficult for any to team to perform in.
‘We’ll be kept up-to-date with the scores- I feel it’s important to have as much information as possible in these situations.
‘But the fact is that we’re second from bottom and have to win so it won’t affect our strategy on the pitch.’
‘The players are fully aware of what is required, but they must see it as an opportunity not to be feared but relished.
‘We’ve been approaching the last 15 games with the same attitude and the same requirements, so there’s no major difference to our preparation, just aiming on playing our football and imposing ourselves onto the game.’
Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
‘The Premier League is such a hugely rewarding industry to be in and if you do get relegated, it is an enormous knock for the football club – for the supporters, financially and for everything that surrounds it. So it is a big, big game for Wigan and we understand that.
‘It is game with a lot riding on it.
‘But it is important not just for the fact that Wigan are trying to stay up and get something out of the game, but also because we have an opportunity to finish in the top 10, which is massive for us.’
‘We have a responsibility to our fans and we also have a responsibility to every other club that is playing in the Premier League and are playing for something’
‘Roberto and Wigan will understand that. We’ll be doing our best to make sure that we try to win a game of football.
‘Whichever team we put out, we will expect them to do their best.’
Stoke City Team News:
Fuller, Sidibe and Higginbotham are out, Etherington, Huth and Pennant are doubtful
Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Collins, Wilson, Whitehead, Whelan, Shotton, Diao, Pugh, Carew, Delap, Walters, Nash, Soares, Jones, Tonge, Faye, Etherington, Huth, Pennant, Begovic.
Player to watch: Jon Walters
Settled in well since his move from Ipswich, hard working, hard running player with an eye for goal.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Al Habsi, Boyce, Gary Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Diame, McCarthy, Watson, N’Zogbia, Rodallega, Cleverley
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
Little Charlie is on fire and playing with his heart on his sleeve, great talent, superb player, Latics Legend.
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Match Facts & Stats
Latics and Stoke have met on 24 occasions
Latics 5 wins, Stoke 10, draws 9
Last Six Meetings
04/12/2010 – Premier League – Latics 2 Stoke 2
09/02/2010 – Premier League – Latics 1 Stoke 1
12/12/2009 – Premier League – Stoke 2 Latics 2
16/05/2009 – Premier League – Stoke 2 Latics 0
08/11/2008 – Premier League – Latics 0 Stoke 0
05/02/2005 – Championship – Latics 0 Stoke 1
Andre Marriner (Birmingham)
Why not take a look at our informative ‘Meet the Ref` article
Andre Marriner Card Watch 2010/11:
Games – 35, yellows – 124, reds – 5
Stoke 1-2 Latics, just got to be, we need it to be, please God let it be
Good luck lads