Match Preview: Wigan Athletic vs Manchester City

Michael Regan

Tomorrow will see Wigan take on last season champions in a game both teams will want to win. City were knocked off top spot at the weekend, after a 0-0 draw with Chelsea, while Wigan win their first in three. Yet will Wigan stand a chance against a team full of internationals, against their depleted side?

Injuries is the worry, we could almost throw out a team of youth players for this mid-week tie. We may lose the game but we wouldn't lose any more players. That of course is unlikely to happened, Martinez will play the strongest side he has available to him, but is that side strong enough to wrestle with Manchester City?

Well we will be without any of the following players: Gary Caldwell, Ivan Ramis, Antolin Alcaraz, Ben Watson, Shaun Maloney, Albert Crusat and Ryo Miyaichi. I can imagine I have missed someone, but their are so many players out it is unbelievable. So it will not be the full strength squad that could beat Manchester City.

If we play like we did against Reading, then maybe would could sneak something. We will have to be strong going forward to beat the Premier League's best defense. Having the return of Franco Di Santo will aid us going forward, the partnership between him and Arouna Kone this season has been on of the highlights.

In the middle, we could see a return to action of James McArthur if there has been no re-occurrence of the dead leg. This will solidify the middle of the park, and hopefully help to aid the defense and block the leaks. Especially with a make shift defense, the back three will consist of Maynor Figueroa, Emmerson Boyce and Adrian Lopez.

Manchester City will go into the game wanting to get back to winning. They were foiled by a strong Chelsea defense on Sunday, and they will want to push onto take the lead in the Premier league again. They have struggled by their standards this season, they have yet to look like that flowing attacking side of last season.

Instead they have slumped to five draws this season, but they have won the rest of their games, keeping them in the title race. The problem for them, is none sees able to score consistently for them. You talk about too many cooks spoil the broth, well Manchester City have too many strikers spoiling the goals.

Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli all have top quality pedigree, and all of them have reasons to start for Manchester City. Picking which one of these to watch is like picking which ones starts you just don't know who Roberto Mancini will pick.

All four of them can score when they want and each have their own trade mark way. Tevez is the worker, winning the ball and running at players to force the issue and score. Aguero is skillful teasing the ball this way and that towards the goal. Dzeko has a bit of class a bit of suave as the fox in the box, while Balotelli just does crazy things to score.

Its hard to see how our defense would come with one of these players.

The game will go one of two ways. Wigan will be up for it and come into the game on a high looking for the win and take Manchester City out of the game, or Manchester City could steam roll us. Either way it will be an exciting game for the spectator.

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