Writer: Phil Blinston
Date:Wednesday December 30 2009
Vital member Phil Blinston (zakidaman) looks ahead to this evenings game with Manchester United and gives us his verdict on how the game will unfold, over to you Phil:
Red Devils or Red Nose Day For Fergie
Phil Blinston (Latics Fan)
Fergie may feel in comical mood as they have never lost to the Latics.
Roberto Martinez will not be fielding an under strength side against Manchester United tonight, unlike the Wolves Manager Mick McCarthy, however this is not a fixture from which I see us taking points.
Historically, we haven`t produced against United, we have lost all of the 12 previous meetings between the two sides in all competitions. This doesn`t bode well for the Latics who remain a very inconsistent side.
Dependant on how we start I see Scotland tucking in just behind Rodallega as this for me has been the most effective recently, but the Latics can switch it, with Scotland as the lone Striker and Hugo playing out on the left with N Zogbia on the right. Nothing is set in stone about this Wigan side.
Gomez can also be quite effective on the right, though, it`s clear he isn`t comfortable out there. I`d like to see Gomez be more selfish take more chances at goal himself, and Scharner the opposite, and take fewer chances and pass the ball more.
Though stranger things have happened this season, not least when we out played Chelsea at home, we haven`t really faired too well on our travels this season against top sides but one thing Wigan can always guarantee us is a surprise. It has been suggested that Roberto Martinez may decide to stiffen the midfield against the defending champions and so striker Jason Scotland would be the most likely left out should this be the case.
I think Latics will have to be on full alert defensively against the best striker in the Premiership Wayne Rooney, who has netted eight times in 10 appearances against the Latics. If the Latics do concede we do have a habit of letting the heads down and conceding more. Attitude and pace will be important for us in this game.
I have a concern about the not so nice behaviour of Vidic around the Latics striker Hugo Rodallega. Vidic should be watched closely by the Referee, as the Serbia international has a tendency to land out at incoming strikers, and Hugo came away with blood pouring from his head in the home tie at Wigan. I hope Roberto Martinez brings this to the Ref`s attention before the start.
Alex Ferguson`s team thus far this season is not firing on all 4 cylinders and Fulham have proved they are beatable. The Red Devils' defensive problems continue to ease, and Neville looks set to make his comeback after injury.
Wigan for me, have in previous meetings given United too much respect, so though we should be aware of their formidable attacking style, and usually dependable defence, we should also be aware they are vulnerable too, and should our strikers get the chance shoot on site.
We all know Sir Alex won`t want to lose this game, and I have no doubt he expects to win and stay in contention for the title. My heart wants a Wigan win, but my head say`s one of United`s front men Rooney or Berbatov will break through to defeat the Latics. Though these two players are the ones to watch United have at least seven other players on the pitch who can score goals and so Latics will have to be on their toes.
On paper you`d have to say a United win. I`m a die hard Latics fan, and unless we dominate at Old Trafford, which not many teams get a chance to do then I only see a United win. We shall keep the fingers crossed.
The great thing is we have nothing to lose in this game except the points whereas United have everything to lose. All the pressure is on them. C`mon the Blue`s
My Virdict. Manchester United 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Possible starting XIs :
Man Utd: Kuszczak, Neville, Vidic, Brown, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Berbatov.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Gomez, Thomas, Scharner, N'Zogbia, Rodallega, Scotland
By Phil Blinston
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Wednesday December 30 2009
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