Latics v Bolton Preview
Latics tackle Bolton this afternoon in what some pundits are calling a relegation six pointer, I wouldn't go as far as that but the game does carry a weight of importance about it.
With five straight defeats we are in the worst run of Martinez's reign and that trend needs to be stopped immediately, no matter how good the performances are losing dents confidence and to keep coming away from games with nothing to show is a worry. Today we face Bolton who are bottom of the pile, they are on a worse run than ourselves and another defeat here would have the alarm bells ringing loud and clear.
We have been missing a spark in the final third recently, maybe it`s time to give new boy Shaun Maloney a start to see if he can inject some craft into the Latics attack. We need something. Rodallega is rumoured to have a chance of featuring at some point, pity that Alcaraz isn't fit because that back four needs sorting.
Bolton have taken a few poundings so far this season, they started with a good win away at QPR on the opening day, but following that it`s been all downhill. Last time out they were hammered by Chelsea at the Reebok so they will be looking to restore some pride today.
Latics v Bolton games are usually cagey affairs, we need a good crowd behind us today to raise the roof, lets do our bit in the stands and hope that the lads can do it on the pitch
What The Boss Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'We know what we are going to face on Saturday'
'You are going to get that really tense atmosphere and a tense game but, we are playing at home and we are desperate to carry on the good work that we have shown since February.
'We need to be ourselves, we need to find that feel good factor about our performances and we need to enjoy our football.
'We are a different team when we've got our supporters behind us giving that extra voice. It always gives us that extra yard on the pitch and you really benefit from that as a player.'
'Overall we will have to be well aware of their threat in set-pieces, they are a big side and a side that use that really well.
'The front line has a lot of experience with a huge goal scoring ability and that's something that in any team you need to be prepared for.
'Bolton have got enough experience to accumulate points very soon and that's why we need to be ready to tackle their threats on Saturday.'
Bolton boss Owen Coyle
'We are not happy with some of the performances we have given - we felt we could have performed better, and there is no getting away from that
'We are always honest in our assessment of that and we know we can do better.
'We now have to pick ourselves up and go into a group of games that I believe we can win - the players have to share that belief, and the desire to show their quality when they cross that white line.'
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Steve Gohouri is back from suspension, Albert Crusat is recovered from injury and Hugo Rodallega may be fit enough to feature in some way. Antolin Alcaraz is out and James McCarthy is doubtful
Latics possible: Al-Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa, van Aanholt, Watson, McCarthy, Diame, Moses, Maloney, Di Santo
Player to watch: Ali Al-Habsi
Hopefully Ali is in line for a big performance and a clean sheet against his former club
Ali the man to watch
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Jussi Jaaskelainen is expected to be fit. Gael Kakuta returns after being ineligible against Chelsea, Ivan Klasnic and David Wheater, are available after completing suspensions.
Bolton from: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Boyata, Robinson, Reo-Coker, Pratley, Gardner, Eagles, Petrov, K Davies, Ngog, Tuncay, Lainton, Muamba, M Davies, Vela, Jaaskelainen, Wheater, Klasnic and Kakuta
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
A player you just love to hate
Why not have a read of our 'Latics - Bolton Connections' article, featuring Tony Kelly this week
Latics and Bolton have met 35 tomes
Latics 13 wins, Bolton 12, draws 10
Last six meetings:
Last Six Meetings
16/02/2011 - FA Cup - Latics 0 Bolton 1
29/01/2011 - FA Cup - Bolton 0 Latics 0
05/01/2011 - Premier League - Bolton 1 Latics 1
23/10/2011 - Premier League - Latics 1 Bolton 1
13/03/2010 - Premier League - Bolton 4 Latics 0
17/02/2010 - Premier League - Latics 0 Bolton 0
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Why not have a read of our excellent 'Meet The Ref' article
Mike Dean Card Watch 2011/12
Games - 7, yellows - 22, reds - 1
Head says 1-1 draw
Heart 2-0 Latics win, as always going with the heart