Latics travel to Wolves today looking for the win that could lift them out of the bottom three, but with both Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa adding to the missing list, it will make things just a little tougher.
Thomas has been excellent so far this season and he will be sorely missed, whilst Figueroa is the only recognised left back that is at the club so someone, more than likely Steve Gohouri, will have to `fill in`
Good news is that Tom Cleverley has been declared fit and he`ll take his place in the starting line up but Gary Caldwell might not be risked.
Last time out Latics fought for a 0-0 draw at Everton and could have snatched the game but for a super save from Tim Howard in the last few minutes
Wolves beat Birmingham at home in their last outing, but they are on a run that has seen them lose seven of their previous nine games and they know that they are in a fight for survival.
Whatever happens today won`t be the end for either club, Mick McCarthy says, ‘no one gets relegated on Boxing Day`, he`s right, but a victory wouldn`t half be a great moral boosting win that could just see the New Year coming in on a much more positive note, let`s hope that it`s the Latics that are feeling up beat come 5pm.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘Wolves are a team we know well and we’ve had some very intense encounters with them over the last two seasons.
‘There is a tremendous unity and spirit about Mick McCarthy’s side which reflects in their play. In their last game they earned a very good victory against rivals Birmingham City and I think the performances they’ve produced this season does not reflect where they find themselves in the league right now.
‘There is huge significance over the points on offer and you’re going see two sides with a clear intention of going out there to win the game surrounded by an electric atmosphere at Molineux.’
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy:
‘Wigan will probably play 4-3-3 and will be good technically keeping the ball and passing it well.
‘Tom Cleverley, N’Zogbia and Rodallega are a good front three and elsewhere they are more robust than they have been.
‘They could have nicked it at Everton when they had a really good chance in the last minute.
‘Roberto has done very well, starting off at Swansea where he built a terrific football team and it’s the same at Wigan.
‘And he’s adapted like we all have to do when you go into the league and can’t just carry on doing what you did before.
‘It’s not just the free-flowing football but Wigan are also tougher this year and harder to beat.’
Wolverhampton Wanderers Team News:
Kevin Doyle, Michael Mancienne, Adlene Guedioura, Michael Kightly and Jody Craddock are all out.
Matt Jarvis, David Jones and Steven Mouyokolo are doubts.
Hennessey, Zubar, Berra, Stearman, Elokobi, Foley, Edwards, Milijas, Hunt, Ward, Ebanks-Blake, Hahnemann, Fletcher, Mujangi-Bia, Jarvis, Jones, Mouyokolo, Ebanks-Landell, Winnall, Rooney, Doherty.
Player to watch: Steven Hunt
One player who always gets ‘stuck in’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
James McCarthy, Victor Moses and Franco Di Santo injured, Maynor Figueroa and Hendry Thomas suspended, Gary Caldwell and Tom Cleverley should be fit to return, Emmerson Boyce 50/50
Al-Habsi, Stam, S. Caldwell, Alcaraz, Gohouri, McArthur, Diame, Watson, Cleverley, N’Zogbia, Rodallega
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
This is a game where we’ll need Charlie to step up
Courtesy of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Wolves have met 11 times
Latics 4 wins, Wolves 4, draws 3
Last Six Meetings
02/10/2010 – Premier League – Latics 2 Wolves 0
16/01/2010 – Premier League – Wolves 0 Latics 2
18/08/2009 – Premier League – Latics 0 Wolves 1
04/01/2005 – Championship – Latics 2 Wolves 0
11/09/2004 – Championship – Wolves 3 Latics 3
11/12/1999 – FA Cup – Latics 0 Wolves 1
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Why not take a look at our excellent `Meet the Ref` article
Mike Dean Card Watch
Games – 19, yellows – 73 – reds – 3
Head says 1-1
Heart says 2-1 Latics win
As always going with the heart