Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday July 31 2011
Latics take the 15 mile trip up the M6 to face Preston North End this afternoon as preseason gets into full swing.
Returning from their Austrian training camp just three days ago the squad will be chomping at the bit to get a game under their belts against English opposition as they prepare for the big kick off in less than two weeks time.
Managers will tell you that preseason games are all about the performances and the workout and nothing about the result, but when it`s against a local rival then you can be sure that teh result does matter, to the fans at least.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'It's going to be a real tough test, very different from the ones we had in Austria
'We expect Phil Brown's team as always will be competitive, well organised and they will be a team with a winning mentality that will be trying to achieve promotion this season'
'They (Preston) are also a local rival and that will bring a different environment, so I expect a very good test, probably the perfect test for where we are in the preseason.'
New signing Keith Treacy is expected to feature
Hugo Rodallega and Antolin Alcaraz are on extended leave following their involvement in the Copa America, Ronnie Stam is recovering from a slight knock
Latics and Preston have met on 41 occasions.
Latics 11 wins, Preston 16, draws 13
Date:Sunday July 31 2011
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