Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday December 4 2010
The Latics face Stoke today desperate for a win to get their season back on track as Roberto Martinez finds his team in the bottom three with Christmas fast approaching.
Unbeaten at home since the visit of Manchester City back on September 19th the Latics are hopefully turning the DW Stadium into a place where it will be hard for opposing sides to pick up points, good home form is vital if the club are to climb the table.
Stoke are in 8th position at the moment and are just six points ahead of the Latics and Tony Pulis has called for a strong performance from his side this week so that they don`t get sucked back into the danger area.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'We know Stoke and the way they play. They are very successful and very effective.
'Like in any other game you need to try to impose yourself with your strengths and try to be strong enough defensively to cope with their physicality.
'They have got two of three outstanding individuals who can use the territorial advantage their physicality gives them.
'You have to be well prepared to play against Stoke.
'If you are not 100% prepared you are really in for a hard time.
'They know how to push you to the limit and take advantage of that.
'We are really focused, we know what is needed.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
'We will respect Wigan. Roberto Martinez is a smashing guy and a good manager - he has done a good job there.
'They have got some outstanding players and if we don't go there 110 per cent committed, then we will get nothing.'
'We are playing against a club that has been in the Premier League a lot longer than we have been and we shouldn't take anyone for granted.
'We are still one of the least experienced Premier League clubs in this country at the moment.'
'We have to be at maximum to get the points out of every game that we play and if we`re not at maximum we won`t get any points at Wigan.'
James McCarthy and Victor Moses have long term injuries, Emmerson Boyce still isn`t over his hamstring injury, but there is better news on Gary Caldwell and Mauro Boselli who both look to have recovered in time to be considered for the game.
Hugo Rodallega will complete his three match ban and be available for next weeks trip to Everton.
Latics from: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Stam, Figueroa, Steven Caldwell, N'Zogbia, Diame, Cleverley, Gomez, Thomas, Watson, Di Santo, Boselli, Pollitt, McArthur, McManaman, Mustoe, Gary Caldwell.
He had an excellent performance against West Ham last week. Heres hoping he has another one today
Stoke City will be without Marc Wilson who is suspended, there are also concerns over the fitness of Jermaine Pennant and Andy Wilkinson who both picked up knocks last weekend.
Stoke from: Begovic, Huth, Faye, Shawcross, Collins, Etherington, Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Walters, Fuller, Jones, Gudjohnsen, Wilkinson, Higginbotham, Tuncay, Delap, Diao, Sorensen.
Been linked with a move to the Latics in the past. Skillful, creative player
Latics and Stoke have met 23 times
Latics wins 5, Stoke 10, draws 8
Last Six Meetings
09/02/2010 - Premier League - Latics 1 Stoke 1
12/12/2009 - Premier League - Stoke 2 Latics 2
16/05/2009 - Premier League - Stoke 2 Latics 0
08/11/2008 - Premier League - Latics 0 Stoke 0
05/02/2005 - Championship - Latics 0 Stoke 1
02/11/2004 - Championship - Stoke - Latics 1
Mike Jones (Chester)
Why not take a look at out excellent 'Meet the Ref' article
Mike Jones Card Watch 2010/11: Games - 14, Yellows - 48, Reds - 2
Head says 1-1.
Heart says 2-1 Latics win.
Date:Saturday December 4 2010
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