Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday August 8 2009
The DW Stadium
Wigan Athletic entertain SPL side St. Mirren this afternoon in what is their last pre-season game before the big kick off next Saturday at Villa Park, but today is also Roberto Martinez` home coming.
The new Latics boss will lead his team out for the first time as manager at the home of Wigan Athletic and hopefully the fans will turn out in numbers to welcome a legend home.
Also at the game today will be Isidro Diaz and Jesus Seba, who with Martinez formed the now famous 'Three Amigos` when they all joined the Latics at the same time back in 1995 and started the meteoric rise of the club through the English league to the dizzy heights of the Premier League, so it could all get quite emotional for 'our Bobby`
On the playing front the fans should get a glimpse of what the boss classes his first eleven, with only one week to go surely we need to see this, also new signings Scott Sinclair and James McCarthy should get their debuts today along with home debuts for Jordi Gomez and Jason Scotland.
Should be an interesting afternoon in the Wigan sunshine, forecast is for lots of sun temps in the low 20`s, a little bit of Spain blowing into the English Costa del Carbón
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'The game against St Mirren will be the first opportunity for the players to play at the DW Stadium ahead of this season, and I feel it's important they get used to that environment again quickly.
'There'll be one week to go then until the season starts so we have to be really close to the right levels of intensity that we want to be at and the level of performance we want to start showing. So we'll carry on working and make sure that every day is a step forward.
'St Mirren are already in competition, having played in the Scottish Cup, so obviously their season is well underway.
'That means we will be playing against a sharper team than us, a team that is already prepared for playing competitive games.
'They are a team with a good blend youth and experience, they have good quality players and they are organised on and off the ball.
'They will be hard to beat, but it will be a good test for us and hopefully a day when all the fans will have a smile on their faces.
'It will be a nice moment for me personally but this game, like the season, is about the players and their level of performance we can reach in the Premier League.
'I can't wait to get started at the DW Stadium but, once we are there, it's important that the players take centre stage and enjoy their football.'
St. Mirren boss Gus McPherson:
'I'm sure we'll see a really tough game as we are going up against Premiership opposition, which will be another really good test for the players'
Honduras internaionas Maynor Figueroa and Hendry Thomas are set to be rested! Olivier Kapo is still injured.
Kirkland; Melchiot, Boyce, Scharner, Edman, Cattermole, Thomas, de Ridder, Gomez, Koumas, Rodallega, Bramble, Brown, Cho, N'Zogbia, Cywka, Bouaouzan, Kupisz, Pollitt, Holt, McCarthy, Routledge, Sinclair, Scotland, King
Been excellent through out the preseason
Chris Smith and Hugh Murray missing out through injury and Steven Thomson will not travel with his wife expecting a baby
Scored 5 against East Stirling last week and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to impress against us
Latics 2-1 St. Mirren
St. Mirren 1-2 Latics
Should be an open game and hopefully the Latics can reproduce the form from the Preston game, I'm going for a 4-2 Latics win
Aston Villa Vs Latics
Latics Vs Wolves
Date:Saturday August 8 2009
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