Date: 7th May 2011 at 10:52am
Written by:

The Latics travel the 100 or so miles down the M6 to Villa Park and quite simply there is only one objective on the agenda for this trip, three points.

Last weekend a great chance to pull out of the bottom three was spurned, great goalkeeping by Tim Howard and a penalty given away in the closing few minutes saw that Everton, who had only three attempts on goal in the entire match, came away with a share of the spoils.

This weekend that can`t be allowed to happen, if the Latics are to dominate like they have been doing of late, bar Sunderland away, then teams need to be killed off

Villa are looking to finish off their campaign in style and are talking of winning their last three games, they are relatively safe on 41 points and hopefully they will be in summer holiday mode and we can exploit that ‘somewhere else` feeling about their players.

Three massive games coming up for the Latics starting today and we need to be looking at winning everyone, 5 points would definitely keep us up, the idea is to get them as soon as possible.

What The Bosses Say:

Latics boss Roberto Martinez:

‘This is the biggest challenge I have been involved in but I am excited because I know how important this could be for the future of this club if we beat it,’ said the Spaniard, who has remained remarkably laid back despite being under pressure for most of the season.

‘The day-to-day work has to be in a relaxed atmosphere, knowing the targets you need to hit, but on a match day it is a completely different focus.

‘It is so important to have a freshness mentally to be as strong as you can on a match day.

‘It is a time for characters. Talent is important in football but you need the character to use your talent in these situations.

‘We go to Villa with a real need of points but a positive approach and desire and hopefully we will get the rewards we deserve.

‘It (Villa Park) has great memories. Your first game in charge is a nice memory – and we played very well – but every game and season is different and we have to be aware they have world class players.’

Villa assistant boss Gary McAllister

‘Wigan are fighting for their lives but they are very committed to a certain style’
‘The manager wants them to get the ball down and play and that in itself is showing a bit of bravery as far as I am concerned.

‘We knew what we are up against, a team that is going to be fighting for their lives but also a team that try to play football.

‘We are aware of their strengths – but we’ve got to be more concerned about what we do rather than looking at the opposition.

‘We are looking to finish the season on a high. They are three big games. You look at the last two and they are high profile games against glamorous clubs.

‘Everyone is looking at the numbers at the bottom of the league and what the magic number of points is going to be.

‘I don’t know, but we’ve got nine points to play for and that’s our target. We will be looking to win all three games’

Aston Villa Team News:

Makoun is injured but otherwise it’s a full squad for McAllister to choose from.

Villa from:

Friedel; Walker, Collins, Dunne, Clark, L Young, Downing, Reo-Coker, Pires, Petrov, Albrighton, A Young, Agbonlahor, Bent, Marshall, Bradley, Delph, Cuellar.

Player to watch: Ashley Young

Talented and creative play maker

Wigan Athletic Team News:

Diame and N’Zogbia very doubtful and both mising would be a massive blow.

Latics from:

Al-Habsi, Boyce, G Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Diame, McArthur, Watson, N’Zogbia, Moses, McCarthy, Cleverley, Di Santo, Rodallega, Kirkland, Gohouri, Gomez, Sammon, Stam, McManaman.

N’Zogbia doubtful

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega

A lot could rest on Hugo’s shoulders especially if Charlie is out, this is one game when we need him to step up to the mark

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Any Previous?

Latics and Villa have met 0n 14 previous occasions

Latics 4 wins, Villa 7, draws 3

Last Six Meetings

25/01/11 – Premier League – Latics 1 Aston Villa 2
16/03/10 – Premier League – Latics 1 Aston Villa 2
15/08/09 – Premier League – Aston Villa 0 Latics 2
31/01/09 – Premier League – Aston Villa 0 Latics 0
26/10/08 – Premier League – Latics 0 Aston Villa 4
03/05/08 – Premier League – Aston Villa 0 Latics 0

Ref Watch:

Mike Jones (Chester)

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

Mike Jones Card Watch 2010/11

Games – 33, Yellows 117, Reds 6

Match Prediction:

Head says 1-1 draw

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

Up Next:

Premier League

The Big One!

Latics v West Ham
DW Stadium

The Last One!

Stoke v Latics
Britannia Stadium