Date:Thursday September 25 2008
Wigan welcome high flying Manchester City to the JJB Stadium on the back end of a defeat to Brighton. This has to be one of the big shocks of the cup but Brighton were really inspiring that night. City were not.
That said, City still fielded a strong side so they must be rather concerned that they couldn't break down Brighton or Brighton were more up for the task than City had bargained for. If Shaun Wright Phillips and Robinho had been playing too, I think it would've been a different story.
The team then I believe would've cruised past Brighton yet I fully expected Brighton would not beat a City team of the strength that Mark Hughes fielded the other night. All credit to Brighton there.
On the other hand, Wigan went to Ipswich and despite a very shaky start, went on to win the game by four goals, a good result on the back of a great draw in the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur.
Wigan are at home this weekend and the good news is all the big guns are fit and that will be vital in order to conquer the attack that City has. Bramble, Boyce, Melchiot and Figueroa will need to be at their very best if they are to repel City but that's dependant if that's the formation Bruce opts to go with. Scharner may play in defence and as we all know, the partnership with Boyce was a great success but Bramble has been coming more into his own of late and his mistake against Sunderland was just one of those things and he quickly silenced the critics with a no-nonsense display at White Hart Lane.
City come to the JJB Stadium with one thing on mind - to continue their good start to the season but will they underestimate Wigan the same way they underestimated Brighton? Probably not. Hughes will give them a good talking to and have them up for the fight that awaits them and Bruce will have a plan to repel his attack. Its another two ex-Manchester United players locking horns again and last season, Bruce triumphed in an exciting 5-3 victory for Wigan against Blackburn. This was the turning point in Wigan's season. Will the same happen here and allow Wigan to get another three points on the board?
WIGAN POSSIBLE STARTING LINE-UP
To repel a potent attack requires frustration technique and Bruce I do believe may opt for that. Here's what I think the manager may do:
WIGAN: PLAYER TO WATCH
Paul Scharner - Last season Paul Scharner scored the equaliser against Man City in the beginning of the revival in Wigan's fortunes. Can lightning strike twice? Why not.
MAN CITY: PLAYER TO WATCH: ROBINHO
Robinho is the player to watch for City - he put on a dazzling display against Portsmouth and the Wigan team will make marking him, Jo and Shaun Wright Phillips their top priority and restrict their play as much as feasibly possible.
PREDICTED SCORE: 2-2
I believe more of the class of City will show here and I think Robinho and Shaun Wright Phillips will score. I also think this game will unleash the skills of Amr Zaki and he'll get a brace. I think this will be a quality game, epitomised by both sides style of football.
Date:Thursday September 25 2008
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