Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday March 9 2008
Latics entertain Arsenal this afternoon in a 'back down to earth` game for the Gunners following their midweek exploits in Milan.
Whatever side Wenger plays they will face a sterner test at the JJB against the Latics than they faced in the San Siro on Tuesday against AC Milan.
Steve Bruces team is fired up and playing some half decent football and an awful lot has been made about the state of the JJB pitch, it`s the same for both sides but with Latics playing at home they should be used to the conditions
Latics could do with something out of the game to put pressure on the other sides in the relegation battle, even a point would be good for morale at this crucial stage of the season, a win and we`ll be talking about a late push for Europe.
It will be interesting to see if Bruce sticks with the 4-4-2 formation or reverts to a 4-5-1 to try and stop the Arsenal midfield, personally I would like to see us have a go, it`s a game that no neutral expects us to get anything from, lets get at them
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
'We would take a draw now I am sure, especially after the performance that they produced at AC Milan in midweek.
'I was sitting watching and thinking it's as a good a performance as I have seen from a British team abroad.
'But that is the beauty of being in the Premier League, you get your moments against them.'
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
'To be champions in England you have to go from Milan to Wigan and win the game.
'I like that because it is a completely different type of game. You have to find a response to what you face.
'It will be a big test - Wigan are playing not to go down. They are under pressure not to go down and I've heard that the pitch is not the Emirates.'
Ryan Taylor and Kevin Kilbane have both recovered from injury but Bruce could well keep faith with the side that drew at City last week
Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Boyce, Edman, Valencia, Brown, Palacios, Koumas, Heskey, King, Sibierski, Pollitt, Bramble, Olembe, Bent, Taylor, Kilbane, Granqvist, Aghahowa, Skoko.
All action Palacios is quickly becoming the new Jimmy Bullard, only better
Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby are both injured after picking up knocks in the week.
Emmanule Eboue is suspended but Robin Van Persie could make a surprise return to the bench
Almunia, Clichy, Senderos, Gallas, Sagna, Denilson, Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Adebayor, Bendtner, Gilberto, Van Persie, Toure, Lehmann, Hoyte, Traore, Song
Fastly becoming one of the best midfield players in Europe if not the World
Latics 0-1 Arsenal (Adebayor 88)
Ref: Rob Styles
13th December 2006
Latics have played Arsenal five times in the league and have lost all five.
Its time for a change
Rob Styles (Waterlooville)
Games - 21
Yellows - 68
Heart says 1-0 Latics win
Head says 1-1 draw
Latics Vs Bolton Wanderers
Sunday 16th March 2008
Blackburn Rovers Vs Latics
Saturday 22nd March
Date:Sunday March 9 2008
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