Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Monday May 3 2010
Wigan Athletic play their last home game of the season already in the knowledge that Premier League football will be coming to the DW Stadium for a 6th consecutive year, what a fantastic feat for a club the size of the Latics.
Roberto Martinez has kept his side up attempting to play football in the wake of a bucket load of criticism not only from idiotic pundits ala Paul Merson and Mark Lawrenson but also from those who should know better, a section of the home supporters.
Any way enough of that for Martinez has answered his critics, we are a Premier League club, achieved quite comfortably after all and at times we have given some top draw performances, just ask Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Today we face a Hull City side that are as good as relegated, so with no tension we should see an open game with both sides playing attacking football and putting on a treat for both the Stadium fans and the TV audience, lets hope so.
It will be good to see Jimmy B back in Wigan, this will be his first return to the DW Stadium since he left for Fulham in May 2006 so a rousing reception for a favourite son no doubt.
Today could also be a day to say goodbye to some of our favourite characters, both Hugo and Charlie are reportedly off to pastures new, Mario is out of contract and he could be set to leave and definitely going through the exit door is our longest serving outfield player and character supreme the one and only Paul Scharner.
Its not been the best of seasons for Scharner but he has been a magnificent servant to the club during his time with us scoring some massively important goals along the way, his debut goal against Arsenal in the semi-final of the Carling Cup in 2006 and the first goal of the game in that never to be forgotten match at Sheffield United in May 2007 spring to mind immediately.
So lets get the ground buzzing today and say goodbye to the season and a few friends who will undoubtedly move on d
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'I'm expecting a very difficult game on Monday that will no doubt be very tight early on,' said Martinez,
'Although Hull have a very slim chance of staying up they'll want to perform to a high standard and at least prepare themselves for next season.
'Individually their players have plenty to play for and that's just one of the factors that will make it a tough contest.
'We've seen already how difficult it can be when you face a team who are well organised and want to play for one another, and we need to be ready to challenge against that.'
Hull boss Iain Dowie:
'I've made a point of saying to the players it's very much about playing for professional pride now, about making sure the integrity of what the club's about is shown in very clear and stark terms at Wigan.
'We've got a very poor away record and it would be great to go there and try and get a result that gets rid of that.
'We've worked very, very hard and the response has been very good. They're paid very handsomely to perform and that's about day in, day out.
'You have to train like you play. That's what I've demanded and we'll see what display they give us on Monday.'
Hendry Thomas and Marcelo Moreno are both rated as doubtful.
Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Caldwell, Figueroa, N'Zogbia, Diame, McCarthy, Watson, Moses, Rodallega
This could be the last time we see Paul Scharner in a Latics kit, I dont think he'll start the game but I am sure at some point he'll come on the pitch
Kamil Zayatte, Stephen Hunt, Jozy Altidore, Ian Ashbee and Richard Garcia are all out
Duke, Mendy, Gardner, Mouyokolo, Dawson, Barmby, Fagan, Boateng, Cullen, Bullard, Cairney, Geovanni, Folan, Altidore, Myhill, Kilbane, Sonko, Olofinjana.
No need for any introduction to the former favourite and Latics legend, it will be good to see Jimmy back
Latics and Hull have met on 22 occasions.
Latics have won 10, Hull 6, draws 6.
Previous Five Meetings
02/01/10 - FA Cup - Latics 4 Hull 1
03/10/10 - Premier League - Hull 2 Latics 1
22/03/09 - Premier League - Latics 1 Hull 0
30/08/08 - Premier League - Hull 0 Latics 5
28/08/07 - League Cup - Latics 0 Hull 1
Phil Dowd (Stoke)
Why not check out our meet the ref article
Heart says Latics win 4-0
Head says 3-1 Latics win
Chelsea v Latics
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Date:Monday May 3 2010
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