Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Wednesday February 17 2010
Latics face Bolton tonight in their rearranged fixture that was frozen off just before Christmas and both managers will be hoping for a warm outcome to what would be a very frosty reception from their fans if either side should lose.
Latics go into the game on the back of two draws that showed a lack of ability to keep hold of a lead, being in front against both Sunderland and Stoke only to be pegged back by second half goals is somewhat the story of the Wigan Athletic season to date.
Roberto Martinez` men are the second worse offenders in the Premier League of taking a lead then not going on to win, who is the worst? Well that`s tonight`s opponents Bolton, so one thing the fans shouldn`t be too worried about is that if either side go a goal down there will be a big chance of a come back by the opposition.
Local derby`s are usually tense affairs but with the proximity of the clubs positions in the league then this game carries even extra spice, a win for Latics will push us above Sunderland into 13th spot and give some breathing space between the relegation places, a Bolton win and they`d climb out of those relegation spots and go above the Latics into 14th, all very tight.
Of course there has been a change of boss at the Reebok since the last game was postponed and Owen Coyle has come in and replaced Gary Megson in the Wanderers hot seat, but unfortunately for Coyle he hasn`t really brought a change of fortune to the club as far as results go and on top of that they have lost inspirational player and leading goal scorer Gary Cahill who is out with a blood clot and Ivan Klasnic, who started to find the back of the net on a regular basis recently is also out with a calf injury
What ever the outcome tonight there is still a long way to go this season but that journey would be made so much more comfortable with three points from this game.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'In a derby game there is always the risk of playing to the occasion, rather than the game itself, which is dangerous'
'One big factor is that we know how to adapt to the pitch, which is in a difficult state at the moment.
'But it'll be a tense game, passionate and I'm sure the fans are going to play a massive role. We're all looking forward to it and we'll make sure that we maintain our high standards.
'You can see that Bolton are going through the same changes now that we did at the beginning of the season. It's a new philosophy Owen Coyle has brought to the club with a big change in how you want to win a football game.
'I think the game itself will come down to small details, and we have to make sure we're focused, stay concentrated and rely on the support of our fans, who always make the difference.'
Bolton boss Owen Coyle:
Wednesday is a massive game for both clubs - there is no doubt about that. No one likes to be in the bottom three and the only way to get out of that is to win matches.
'There is an opportunity at Wigan because it involves two teams who have got a game in hand over most of their competitors.
'There are three points at stake and the incentive for ourselves is to try and get to 14th in the league. So it is there for both teams to go all out and win the game in hand.
'Wigan are good on the ball and like to pass and move and equally they have a big physical threat because of the players in their team. There's no doubt that it will be a very good contest.'
James McCarthy is rated at 50/50 with a hamstring injury and if the young Scott misses out then Victor Moses could be in line for his home debut.
Kirkland, Bramble, Caldwell, Scharner, Boyce, Figueroa, N'Zogbia, Diame, Moreno, McCarthy, Thomas, Scotland, Gomez, Rodallega, Melchiot, Sinclair, Moses, Amaya, Watson, Stojkovic.
Little CHarlie has been on fire this season, lets hope it continues
Gary Cahill and Ivan Klasnic are out and Zay Knight is doubtful with a calf strain and will have a fitness test.
Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Robinson, Gardner, Cohen, Weiss, Taylor, M Davies, Muamba, Wilshere, Lee, K Davies, A O'Brien, Al Habsi, Samuel, Basham, Elmander, Ricketts, Holden.
Always a handful and one of those that you hate as an opposition but love if he plays for you
Latics and Bolton have met 29 times previously.
Latics have 13 wins, Bolton 10, draws 6
Last Five Meetings:
02/05/09 - Premier League - Latics 0 Bolton 0
28/12/09 - Premier League - Bolton 0 Latics 1
16/03/08 - Premier League - Latics 1 Bolton 0
09/12/07 - Premier League - Bolton 4 Latics 1
07/04/07 - Premier League - Latics 1 Bolton 3
Howrad Webb (Rotherham)
Meet the ref article, and its a good one, can be viewed by clicking here
Heart says 2-0 Latics win
Head says very nervy 1-0 Latics win
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