Villa v Latics Preview
A massive game for both clubs, a win for the Latics and we're out of the bottom three, a defeat for Villa following their two trouncing's against Chelsea and Spurs and it will be an uphill struggle for them to turn it around, even at this early stage
Latics are looking to get back on track, surely the squad is good enough for mid-table at least. Refereeing decisions haven't been going our way all season and have cost us games that we could have won. No good bemoaning our luck though, we have to play our way out of it
Villa will be smarting from their two spankings and will want to put a show on against us, I believe the first goal will be vitally important, if we get it then the young Villa side could crumble. Let's hope we hit the ground running this afternoon
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
'We've had two penalties against us in two games that have undone all the hard work against teams challenging for the Champions League. We haven't been lucky at all but sometimes you have to create your own luck.
'This is the best squad Wigan have had for a long time.
'But the simple truth is we don't have the number of points we wanted at this stage of the season.'
Villa boss Paul Lambert
'Nobody likes to get beat, whether it's 8-0 or 1-0. That's football all over, you want to try and rectify it and try and win the next game.
'I'm a realist. I'm not going to sit here and bluff you or anything like that. I know what has happened.
'Don't think that it doesn't hurt because of the way I act, because it does. I just maybe don't show it.'
Aston Villa Team News:
Nathan Baker has joined Villa's list of injured players that is almost as long as the Latics
Villa from - Guzan, Clark, Bennett, Ireland, Lowton, Al Ahmadi, Westwood, Albrighton, Delph, Herd, Holman, Benteke, Given, Lichaj, Bannan, Carruthers, Bowery
Player to watch: Benteke
Looks a class player
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Alcaraz, Crusat, Miyaichi and Watson are all still out but Ivan Ramis could play some part today, dont be surprised to see him start
Latics possible - Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Beausejour, McCarthy, McArthur, Maloney, Di Santo, Kone
Player to watch: Shaun Maloney
Players returning to previous clubs usually make a mark
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Villa have met 18 times
Latics 4 wins, Villa 8, draws 6
Last Six Meetings
25 Feb 2012 - Premier League - Latics 0 Villa 0
01 Oct 2011 - Premier League - Villa 2 Latics 0
07 May 2011 - Premier League - Villa 1 Latics 1
25 Jan 2011 - Premier League - Latics 1 Villa 2
16 May 2010 - Premier League - Latics 1 Villa 2
15 Aug 2009 - Premier League - Villa 0 Latics 2
Kevin Friend (Leicester)
Why not take a look at our 'Meet The Ref' article
Kevin Friend Card Watch 2012/13
Games - 16, yellows - 62, reds - 2
Both head and heart are going for a 1-1, so that's what I'll plump for
Latics v Manchester United
FA Cup 3rd Round
Latics v AFC Bournemouth
Why not have a listen to the latest podcast
In this the last recording of the year the panel is decimated by man flu, luckily Barry, Dan and Paul are on hand to carry the flag.
The podcast is longer than usual but with a lot of content to get through that isn't surprising. There are the Arsenal and Everton (12:38) reviews, dodgy ref decisions and missed opportunities. Next up is the Aston Villa preview (23:40), now this is a big game. We follow the Villa preview with looking ahead to the local derby on New Year's Day against Manchester United (33:22), we all know this game is their cup final. A nostalgic look back at 2012 (40:48) brings this week's podcast to a conclusion
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All the PWU Podcast team would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you so very much for your support on this project