Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday October 18 2009
Roberto Martinez sets his sights on Mark Hughes` Manchester City and he is hoping for a repeat performance of the last home game when Chelsea were humbled by a rampant Latics.
Since that victory the Latics have of course shown their inconsistency by going to the KC Stadium and giving the points to Hull despite having the Lions share of possession and out passing their opponents by over 300.
Martinez is desperately seeking perfection and he says that the performances are what matter, his philosophy is if we play well then we will ultimately win more than what we lose and today would be a good game to ratify that point.
City come to the DW Stadium having been knocked out of the top four by virtue of Arsenal winning yesterday and will be desperate to get back in there but manager Mark Hughes is facing somewhat of a mini injury crisis and will give late fitness tests to several of his players including both the skipper Toure and dangerman Bellamy.
Whatever the result Roberto wont be swayed off his path but come 6 pm tonight I think he will be affording a little smile with another big scalp hung on the dressing room wall
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'They (City)have one of the best squads in the league in terms of numbers and the quality to be contenders. When you go out to buy the best it can go wrong sometimes but when you look at what they've bought recently it almost resembles how you play a computer game.
'But they now have a fantastic squad and Mark Hughes has them playing as a team. Having said that, I wouldn't swap my squad for Man City's, no way.
'In the three months we have been working together we've progressed massively and we believe in our squad.'
City boss Mark Hughes
'We have a couple of doubts. Kolo has not trained since Villa due to the bang on the heel he received there, and Craig Bellamy has a little bit of stiffness in his groin. He did not finish training on Thursday and did not train Friday.
'We're hopeful on Zabaleta but there is not a guarantee that he will be fit and well. Nigel de Jong is a little bit sore, and Martin Petrov also won't train...because of a sore knee.
'We will give everyone maximum time to help their chances of playing. There is still time before the game for these things to be resolved.'
Hopefully Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa have arrived safe and sober back in the UK following orders to party by the Honduras President following their World Cup qualification.
No injuries or suspensions, a full squad for Martinez to choose from.
Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, Rodallega, Thomas, Diame, N'Zogbia, Scharner, Scotland, King, Pollitt, Amaya, Cho, Koumas, Gomez, de Ridder, Kapo, McCarthy, Kupisz, Cwyka, Kingson
Gets better with every match he plays and is destined to be a massive player in the game
City have a string of injury worries, Lescott, Toure, Petrov, Bellamy, Zabaleta, Robinho, Onuoha, Benjani and de Jong are all doubts but Hughes will wait as long as possible before naming his side.
Given, Toure, Bridge, Zabaleta, Lescott, Wright-Phillips, de Jong Ireland, Barry, Bellamy, Adebayor, Tevez, Santa Cruz, Petrov, Sylvinho, Richards, Taylor, Johnson.
A talented striker and watch out for him breaking the world 100 metres record if he scores
League Matches Latics won 5, City 2, Draws 3
Last home meeting:
Wigan Athletic 2-1 Manchester City
Alan Wiley (Burtonwood)
Games - 9
Yellows - 33
Reds -2 cards
Head says 1-1
Heart says 2-1 Latics win
Date:Sunday October 18 2009
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