Roberto Martinez takes his Latics side to Molineux today to face Wolves and the boss will be looking over his shoulder anxiously with just one point separating the Latics from a spot in the bottom three.
Although the Latics have games in hand the psychological effect of dipping their toes into the relegation zone will be one that the club will want to avoid at all costs and Martinez will be going to Molineux looking for all three points.
New signing Gary Caldwell has been declared ready for action though it would be a massive gamble to throw him in to the divisions leakiest defence with just one training session behind him it`s more than likely a spot on the bench for the current Scotland player of the year.
With this being the first league game of 2010 the Latics will want to start the New Year with a positive result and performance, Mick McCarthy`s men haven`t the best home form losing 5 of their 10 games at Molineux this season so Martinez can be a little optimistic and the right approach should see the right result.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘Molineux is a tough place to go at any point in the season.
‘Wolves have a great team-spirit and a great intensity to their game which we’ll have to match on Saturday.
‘They have players who can hurt you and we need to focus on being ourselves and imposing ourselves on the game to get the right result.
‘Mick (McCarthy) is full of experience, won promotion with the group of players he has and they’ve shown that momentum and togetherness so far this season. It makes them a very tough opposition and we’re looking forward to the challenge hoping the game will take place in light of what’s happened over the last few weeks.’
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy:
‘Roberto has stuck to what he believes in and tried to play football
‘I`m sure they`ll continue to play that way. It`s not about just having one way to play, but you have a way of playing which you try to stick to.
‘I`m sure he tried to change players around to get those in who can play that way.’
‘Charles N`Zogbia is a really good player. Hugo Rodallega`s a really good player as well as Jason Scotland, who was a threat in the Championship.’
Wolverhampton Wanderers Team News:
Stefan Maierhofer is out with a hernia
Hahnemann, Foley, Jarvis, Berra, Stearman, Elokobi, Craddock, Mancienne, Zubar, Henry, Surman, Doyle, Ebanks-Blake, Iwelumo, Hennessey, Castillo, Milijas
Player to watch: Kevin Doyle
Doyle’s been a big hit at Molineux since his summer move
Wigan Athletic Team News:
With new signing Gary Caldwell available and Chris Kirkland and Momo Diame back to fitness Roberto Martinez has a full squad to pick from.
Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, N’Zogbia, Thomas, Diame, Schaner, Sinclair, Rodallega
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
Little Charlie has been simply superb so far this season and he is our most creative player by a long way
Latics and Wolves have met 9 times previously:
Latics have 2 wins, Wolves 4, draws 3.
Last Five Meetings
18/08/09 – Premier League – Latics 0 Wolves 1
04/01/05 – Chapmionship – Latics 2 Wolves 0
11/09/04 – Championship – Wolves 3 Latics 3
11/12/99 – FA Cup – Latics 0 Wolves 1
15/05/89 – Old Division 3 – Latics 1 Wolves 1
Howard Webb (Rotherham)
To get an insight into Howard Webb why not take a look at the meet the ref article
Head says 1-1 draw
Heart says 2-0 Latics win