Can Latics Deliver Against Villa - Big Game Preview
No Regrets - Lets Deliver Against Villa.
To outsiders it may have appeared to be a turbulent week down at the Latics, but reading between the lines of the various quotes coming out of the club I feel there is more a sense of relief that we can now finally have a crack at staying up, it may be too late but as we know with our football team never say never.
Villa have really underperformed this season and sitting in 13th at this stage will be a massive disappointment for their supporters, but they do have quality in their ranks so we will need to be wary of them, today though is all about us.
Graham Barrow and the rest of the coaching staff have been working hard on the training ground during this past week, the novel idea of getting players in the box, a stark contrast to the last five months, ''the shackles are off'' is one of the many quotes Barrow has been reported as saying, the fans want something to cling on to, to get behind, we want to see our side having a go.
I am truly excited about today's game, the first time in quite a while, I have a buzz, the club feels like it has recovered its buzz too, here's hoping we can finish the season on a positive note, whether it'll be enough to stay up is debateable, this time last week we had no chance at all but now I feel we have a chance, however slight, that is enough for me at the moment.
Up the tics!
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Graham Barrow:
''There'll be no shackles on tomorrow.
''If the players want to run forward then great, but they have to remember to run back as well and not lose the ball, that's never changed in football.
''You can talk tactics until you're blue in the face but modern day football means you have to work really hard and get up and down that pitch.
''I just don't think we've had enough players running in the attacking direction and that's been the theme this week, so let's look forward to it.''
''There's always been unity at this club ever since I've been here, and we have to get that back.''
Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce:
''In management, it is what it is now. I feel for every manager who gets the sack because it's awful, that's the only way to describe it.
''It's okay for a few days, your telephone rings and everybody wishes you the best. Then it goes very, very quiet and you have to reflect.''
''He (Warren Joyce) left Manchester United where he`d been for the best part of 20 years to go and take up a No.1 position.
''I'm sure he will bounce back. He's made of strong stuff. He'll need to because it is tough but the way the football world is at the moment, I don't think any of us are surprised.''
''Of course, tomorrow now for their players, there's a different voice, different attitude, change in formation maybe, change of personnel so we don't know what they're going to do.''
''Whatever happens it's going to be a tough game.''
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Latics have more injury woes with Will Grigg looking likely to miss the remainder of the season through a knee injury, Nick Powell, Jakob Haugaard, Donervon Daniels, Reece James are all missing but Sam Morsy returns to the squad following his two game suspension.
There are certain to be changes so this is a complete guess.
Latics possible - Gilks, Connolly, Buxton, Burn, Warnock, MacDonald, Morsy, Jacobs, Gilbey, Obertan, Bogle.
Player to watch: Sam Morsy
Morsy back in the team today following his suspension and I feel he will be the star man.
Aston Villa Team News:
Birkir Bjarnason, Andre Green, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Gabby Agbonlahor and Nathan Baker are all injured, whilst Leandro Bacuna is suspended.
Better news for Henri Lansbury, Jack Grealish and Scott Hogan who all returned to training this week.
Villa possible - Johnstone, Bree, Chester, Jedinak, Taylor, Hutton, Gardner, Hourihane, Amavi, Adomah, Kodja
Player to watch: Jonathan Kodjia
Aston Villa top scorer with 15 goals (4 away) and he is form at the moment, one to stop.
Latics and Villa have met 20 times
Latics 5 wins, Villa 9, 6 draws.
Last Six Meetings
10 Dec 2016 - Championship - Aston Villa 1 Latics 0
19 May 2013 - Premier League - Latics 2 Aston Villa 2
29 Dec 2012 - Premier League - Aston Villa 0 Latics 3
25 Feb 2012 - Premier League - Latics 0 Aston Villa 0
01 Oct 2011 - Premier League - Aston Villa 2 Latics 0
07 May 2011 - Premier League - Aston Villa 1 Latics 1
Tony Harrington (Hartlepool)
Take a look at our 'Meet The Ref'
article to get the low down on today's referee.
Tony Harrington Card Watch
Games - 29, yellows - 109, reds - 2
A tough one this week after finally getting shut of the jailer, my head says 2-2.
My heart says 2-1 Latics win, as always going with the heart.
Newcastle United v Latics
St James' Park
Ipswich Town v Latics
Latics v Rotherham United
Check out the latest PWU Podcast - Let's Put The Soul Back In The Club
Warren Joyce's tenure as Latics manager finally ended, now's the time to get the soul back.
0:00 Joyceless intros - sayonara, Shortsman II
1:00 Electrifying 'Bristols' review (30 seconds long)
7:00 Why didn't we get him out sooner?
13:00 What's Coyley up to these days?
16:00 £179 season tickets = 'a ripoff' & Fans Forum refunds
18:40 Changing subject: Aston Villa preview with Villa fan Jordan
24:00 Villa to 'throw the game'? & the shadow of Shortsman
28:30 Baz's Villa stat pack, form guide & bittersweet predictions
35:00 Si's Oddschecker & Pollitt to return?!
40:00 Potted history of Wigan Athletic 2004-2017
Cheesy ending this week but who cares.
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