Birmingham Vs Latics Preview
Latics face Birmingham this afternoon and will be looking to get at least a point from the game to keep their heads above the choppy waters of the bottom three.
Coming off the back of last weeks defeat to Spurs Roberto Martinez will be looking at his team to show some grit to shake that loss out of their systems and a good result at St. Andrews would give the Latics some confidence as they enter a tough period of games in their fight for survival.
Neither the Latics nor Birmingham are in their best form of the season and both camps will see this game as one to get a kick start for the home run.
Titus Bramble and James McCarthy are both doubts for the Latics whilst Birmingham should have Barry Ferguson fit to return to their midfield
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'When look back to when we played Birmingham here at the DW, our first-half performance was as good as any we've produced all season, and we have enough chances to win that game. Then in the second-half we couldn't handle their pressure, got punished from a free-kick and we were very unfortunate no to get anything from the game.
'But without a doubt Birmingham have been the surprise package this season, and rightly so. To go on the run they did and show that kind of consistency in the Premier League proves how outstanding a season they're having with a group of player who have been working together for a long time.
'They have a great team ethic and are tough opposition for anyone on their day.'
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish:
'I know Roberto (Martinez) very well and I know the style he wants his team to play and if Wigan click as we've seen on several occasions this season they can beat anybody.
'They've beaten the likes of Chelsea and Aston Villa and they can be a right good side on a particular day and Roberto will be looking for them to produce the magic they're capable of.
'We're under no illusions that this is a tough game, but we're at St. Andrew's and we want the St. Andrew's crowd to be really right behind their side and make it a tough place for Wigan to come and then let the players do the rest.'
Birmingham City Team News:
Carsley and O'Connor are out Ferguson should be clear to return.
Hart, Carr, Dann, Johnson, Ridgewell, Fahey, Bowyer, Ferguson, Michel, Larsson, Gardner, McFadden, Jerome, Phillips, Taylor, Benitez, Parnaby, Vignal.
Player to watch: James McFadden
Always likely to produce some magic which can create chances
Wigan Athletic Team News:
James McCarthy and Titus Bramble will both be given right up to the last minute to show they have recovered from injury
Kirkland; Melchiot, Caldwell, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Thomas, Moses, Diame, McCarthy, N'Zogbia, Moreno, Sinclair, Rodallega, Stojkovic, Watson, Scotland, Gomez, Boyce.
Player to watch: Charles N'Zogbia
N'Zogbia has been simply magnificent this season
The Latics and Birmingham have met on 12 previous occasions.
Latics 3 wins, Birmingham 4, draws 5.
Last Five Results
05/12/09 - Premier League - Latics 2 Birmingham 3
05/04/08 - Premier League - Latics 2 Birmingham 0
27/10/07 - Premier League - Birmingham 3 Latics 2
08/04/06 - Premier League - Latics 1 Birmingham 1
02/01/06 - Premier League - Birmingham 2 Latics 0
Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe), who? Exactly To find out about the new kid on the block, MR Taylor see our `Meet The Ref` article
I'm going for a 1-1 draw both with my head and heart
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