Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Wednesday April 14 2010
Wigan Athletic take on Portsmouth tonight knowing a win will almost certainly be enough to secure another season of Premier League football down at the DW Stadium.
With a tight cluster of clubs down at the wrong end of the table Roberto`s men are sitting 4 points above the drop zone, three points tonight would lift the Latics from 17th to 14th and leave either Burnley or Hull needing 3 wins from their remaining games to catch us, so no other thoughts than a win please.
Portsmouth are set to ring the changes from the side that magnificently beat Spurs on Sunday, the squad were that exhausted yesterday that they were unable to train, though Jamie O`Hara who is on loan from Spurs and missed the semi-final as a result is available once again for selection.
Latics v Pompey has become something of an end of season fixture and usually ends up in a party for one reason or another, I`ll be taking my party hat tonight hoping that I come home with a goody bag crammed full of goals and three points for the Latics.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
'Even though they are relegated through issues which at times have been out of their hands, we know we'll have to be at our very best against a competitive side.
'In the league they can afford to relax now, enjoy their football and play for the benefit of their own individual careers, and that makes them a very difficult side to play against.'
Pompey first team coach Paul Groves:
'If there are changes it will be only because players have suffered with strains from the demands of the game at the weekend.
'There are no fresh injuries as such. One or two perhaps may find tonight has come around very quickly, while there were one or two with existing bumps, bruises and knocks.
'Playing the youngsters is a consideration, although if they are called upon I am sure they will give their all for the team.'
Gary Caldwell serves the second of his 3 match ban, Boyce and Thomas are recovered from injury so it's a fully fit squad to pick from:
Kirkland, Bramble, Boyce, Scharner, Melchiot, Figueroa, Diame, McCarthy, Thomas, N'Zogbia, Rodallega, Gohouri, Moreno, Scotland, Stojkovic, Gomez, Moses, Sinclair, Pollitt
Little Charlie should be back to full fitness and we need him to be firing on all cylinders as we aim to end our season on a high
Portsmouth look to be depleted of a few stars from their FA cup semi final win but Jamie O'Hara is back and youth players Joel Ward, Matt Ritchie, Lenny Sowah, Marlon Pack and Liam O'Brien have been added to the travelling squad
The lad has a growing reputation
Latics and Pompey have met on 16 previous occasions with Latics 5 wins, Pompey 9, draws 2.
Last 5 Meetings
31/10/09 - Premier League - Pompey 4 Latics 0
24/05/09 - Premier League - Latics 1 Pompey 0
01/11/08 - Premier League - Pompey 1 Latics 2
29/03/08 - Premier League - Pompey 2 Latics 0
20/10/07 - Premier League - Latics 0 Pompey 2
There has been a change of ref from Lee Probert to Mike Dean
Find out all there is to know about this evenings referee in our meet the ref article
Head and heart speaking here, 3-0 Latics win, not being cocky or disrespectful to Pompey but I just dont think they will be interested but they will be very tired
Why not check out the Pomey preview podcast right here or click on the player below
Date:Wednesday April 14 2010
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