Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday October 26 2008
JJB Stadium, Robin Park
Wigan Athletic go into todays game with Aston Villa very much needing to halt a trend. With two consecutive defeats, Boro at home and Liverpool away, the Latics will want to find their winning formula again.
Past games against Villa have usually been quite exciting and the Latics have had the better results with 3 wins to Villas 1 of the 6 games played in the Premier League so heres hoping.
Latics will be without Antonio Valencia for the game, which is a massive blow, but welcome back Emile Heskey who has recovered from his hamstring injury and will take his place alongside the fantastic Amr Zaki in the home attack.
This means that Daniel DeRidder more than likely will keep his place on the right of Latics midfield, he has asked for a run in the side and now he`s getting one so lets see what he`s got.
The weather forecast for this afternoon is dry but with the amount of rain that`s fallen in the past 24 hours the pitch will be very greasy and should make for a fast game, lets hope for a Latics win and we will be able to get the show back on the road with two more winnable games coming up at Fulham and Portsmouth in the next seven days the season could start here.
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
'Every game we've lost has been by the odd goal and we've lost two in the last few minutes.
'That's the biggest kick in the teeth you can get. To play well in a game and get beaten in the last minute - there's nothing worse. We didn't deserve to lose against Middlesbrough and, in my opinion, we didn't deserve to lose against Liverpool.
'But if we keep playing the way we're playing and show the same enthusiasm and determination, I'm sure we can turn it around.'
Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
'Wigan are very, very strong and they are a good football side. They have caused every single team in this league plenty of problems.
'You are not surprised by them anymore. I just think Wigan are excellent.
'They beat us here at Villa Park in our final home game of the season. They played exceptionally well in a match they needed something from. Obviously when the chips are down, they can come out fighting. '
Emile Heskey is back after recovering from a hamstring injury picked up on international duty
Antonio Valencia misses the game due to suspension, Erik Edman is just quite not ready following his 10 month lay-off
Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, Cattermole, Palacios, Kapo, Heskey, Zaki, Brown, Camara, De Ridder, Kilbane, Koumas, Kupisz, Scharner, Taylor, Pollitt, Kingson.
Following his majestic performance last week at Anfield what next from Africas top player
Gabriel Agbonlahor is a doubt after picking up an injury in Thursdays UEFA cup match against Ajax whilst John Carew could miss due to feeling tired, erm hum.
Friedel, L Young, Davies, Cuellar, Knight, Laursen, Shorey, Milner, Barry, Petrov, Reo-Coker, A Young, Gardner, Carew, Agbonlahor, Harewood, Guzan, Sidwell, Routledge, Osbourne.
Always has a good game against the Latics big, powerful, fast and young
Latics first played the Villa back in 1981 in a League Cup game at Springfield Park
Villa were league champions and about to win the European Cup but the latics played exceptionally well and were only defeated by a late penalty to go out of the competition 1-2
Latics 1-2 Aston Villa
29th December 2007
Referee Howard Webb
All league fixtures
Latics 3 wins, Villa 1, Draws 2
Mike Jones (Cheshire)
Games - 1
Yellows - 1
Reds - 0
Mike Jones' only previous Premier League game this season was Latics 5-0 away drubbing of Hull City, lets hope thats an omen
Heart says 3-1 Latics win
Head says 1-1 draw
Fulham Vs Latics
Portsmouth Vs Latics
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Date:Sunday October 26 2008
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