Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Wednesday August 4 2010
The Latics face La Liga side Real Zaragoza at the DW Stadium tonight in their one and only home friendly this preseason with manager Roberto Martinez` former team making a whistle stop visit to the UK for this game.
Fresh from their Austrian training camp the Latics are shaping up in readiness for the big kick-off a week on Saturday and the game this evening should give some indication as to what the boss considers his starting eleven.
Without doubt up front this season big things are expected from Argentine Mauro Boselli who has been brought in for a big fee and the goal machine should get his first taste of the DW atmosphere, a taste of what is to come would be nice and he is one player that I am looking forward to seeing in action.
Also set to feature at some point tonight are the Latics other summer signings Paraguay world cup star Antolin Alcaraz, Dutch right back Ronnie Stam and Scotland Under 21 player James McArthur.
Meanwhile Zaragoza are gearing up for the start of their season in Spain and they are fresh from a 1-1 draw in a friendly game against fellow La Liga side Osasuna last weekend.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'It's a completely different type of game than we've had so far this pre-season'
'We've played against Turkish opposition in Austria who where completely different than the Slovenia team that we played, and then playing against a Spanish side, you'll see that tactically they're very well organised, they're well aware, they're very flexible, they read the games very well and they're going to put us into different situations than we'll face against Dundee.
'It's important that we are adaptable as a team, we need to know how to cope with these different ideologies in football teams and that's going to help us a lot.
'They're a stylish side and they play with flare.
'They've always been very successful I would say in cup competitions and they always play in an attractive manner.
'To see them play here at the DW Stadium is great especially with the links we have, obviously with Jesus (Seba), Isidro (Diaz) and myself coming from there back in 1995.'
There should be starts for Boselli, Alcaraz and Stam, whilst McArthur and Al-Habsi could feature at some point.
Kirkland, Stam, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Diame, McCarthy, Watson, Rodallega, N'Zogbia, Boselli, Al-Habsi, Boyce, Moses, Thomas, McArthur, Gomez, Scotland, Golbart
Latics fans love a goal scoring centre forward, have we found one in Boselli?
Real Zaragoza squad for tonights game:
Doblas, Leo Franco, Ponzio, Goni, Jose, Jarosik, Contini, Obradovic, Diogo, Kevin, Edmilson, Gabi, Ander, Jorge Lopez, Pennant, Edu García, Marco Perez and Braulio.
Former Liverpool player and previously linked with a move to the Latics, appears to be enjoying his time in Spain
Latics and Zaragoza have never met before
Chris Foy (St. Helens)
See our Meet the Ref article
3-2 Latics win with some exciting fast flowing football and great goals
One can but dream
Dunde United v Latics
Latics v Blackpool
Date:Wednesday August 4 2010
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