Date:Monday December 26 2011
Roberto Martinez takes his team down the East Lancs Road this afternoon to face Manchester United, hoping to keep the recent run of good form going. Despite the fact that the Latics have never taken a single point of United there is some hope of a positive result following great performances against both Chelsea and Liverpool.
Still in the bottom three but showing signs that come the New Year the Latics will most definitely be upwardly mobile.
Of course facing United at Old Trafford is never an easy task, add to that the fact that the Latics have never even managed a draw against their neighbours gives some evidence that this is a mammoth task today, but with renewed confidence in the camp there is an optimism that the no points record is about to be broken.
Well that's what I asked Santa for!
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'If you're going to take on a team like Manchester United you have to be at your best, especially away from home.'
'Firstly we have to defend well; they have real attacking flair and quality up-front as well as being a very strong unit.
'When they lose the ball they reduce the spaces very quickly and make it difficult to play against them.
'Players like Valencia, Nani, Rooney and Berbatov show the talent Sir Alex Ferguson has in his squad and the list goes on beyond those names.
'So lots for us to be ready for but at the same time we need to realise that we're in a good moment ourselves and the next challenge for us lies in continuing our recent performances away from home.'
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson:
'They (Wigan) are not on my list to go down'
'I never thought they would do, they're a good team with good players'
Nemanja Vidic, Michael Owen, Anderson, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Darren Fletcher and Rio Ferdinand are all out but Phil Jones should be fit to start
United from: - Lindegaard, Evra, Jones, Evans, Smalling, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck, De Gea, Rafael, Fryers, Park, Berbatov Hernandez
Last week Valencia announced that the Latics were in 'his heart', always class, both on and off the field
A fully fit squad for Martinez to choose from today, but expect an unchanged starting eleven
Latics probable -Al-Habsi, Stam, Figueroa, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Jones, Diame, McCarthy, Gomez, Moses, Sammon
Diame has been on top form all season, with the Senegal international heading for the ACN in two weeks, some more big performances are needed before he leaves
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics have faced Manchester United 13 times, unfortunately we have lost 13 times!
Phil Dowd (Staffs)
Why not take a look at our excellent 'Meet The Ref' article
Phil Dowd Card Watch 2011/12
Games - 14, yellows - 64, reds - 1
Head says 2-0 Man U win
Heart is screaming 1-1, as always going with my heart
Date:Monday December 26 2011
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