Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday January 31 2009
Latics travel to the Midlands to face a Villa side that are chasing a top four place and are in a great vein of form at the moment
Villa are expected to have former Latic Emile Heskey in their starting line-up following his goal scoring debut at Portsmouth on Tuesday
Latics though had their own scoring debutant when new signing Mido rolled home a penalty in Wednesday s 1-1 draw with Liverpool
News from the JJB today is that Zaki will be missing due to a knee injury so new signing Hugo Rodallega could get a start up front alongside Mido
Villa have never beaten Latics at Villa Park in the league, lets hope that run continues today
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
'The one thing we have proved is that we have been competitive against the top four.
'If there is any club to follow as a role model over the last two years it is Aston Villa.
'Martin O'Neill's teams play in a committed way and they are on a hell of a run and it is going to be a difficult game.'
Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
'After we beat Wigan at the JJB Stadium in late October, Steve Bruce looked a bit concerned. He was a bit down after the game.
'But recently they have won six out of nine games in a fantastic run. That can happen. It can happen to any team.
'The league is so, so tight. I have never known it like this. It's been like this since the start of the season and I can't see it changing.'
Martin Laursen, Nigel Reo-Coker and Marlon Harewood are all out injured and Ashley Young is suspended.
Friedel, Cuellar, Knight, Davies, L Young, Gardner, Sidwell, Petrov, Barry, Milner, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Shorey, Guzan, Carew, Delfouneso, Salifou, Osbourne.
Latics fans know all about Heskey, lets hope he has a bad fame today
Amr Zaki and Antonio Valencia are both out but Titus Bramble returns following his one match suspension and keeper Chris Kirkland could get the nod to take his place in goal following his recovery from a back injusy
Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Cattermole, Taylor, Camara, Kapo, De Ridder, Zaki, Mido, Kingson, Pollitt, Edman, Brown, Boyce, Rodallega.
Started his Latics career off with a goal on Wednesday, can he carry that on today?
Latics have a good record at Villa Park with 2 wins and a draw inthe 3 previous visits in the league.
Villa 0-2 Latics
3rd May 2008
Referee Rob Styles
Villa 2 wins, Latics 3, Draws 2
Rob Styles (Waterlooville)
Games - 15
Yellows - 54
Reds - 5
I feel we could get a draw here today so I am going for 1-1
Latics Vs Fulham
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Date:Saturday January 31 2009
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