The FA Cup Final: The Team News

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One of the biggest games in the year’s footballing calendar, and every player will be fitting to get a place in the starting line-up. To do that, they have to show they can make a difference on the pitch against the opposition of the day.

Wigan though may not have a lot of choice as to who will feature against Manchester City. Our squad which is starting to run thin on defensive options may force Roberto Martinez’s hand in term of selection in the key defensive positions.

The injury list, mostly comprised of defenders, isn’t getting any shorter. There are two players who could return this weekend ahead of the final. Antolin Alcaraz and Adrain Lopez are both rated 50-50 and will be handed fitness tests ahead of the game, with a late kick-off it allows for plenty of assessment time.

If one of the two above defenders is fit, then Martinez may see that Gary Caldwell doesn’t feature. The defender was massively lacking against Swansea City (the defender still isn’t 100%, his hip still causing problems), and considering they didn’t start their fastest player that is worrying. You wonder if he could cope with Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero.

There is one other change which is being tipped, the return of experienced goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi. The keeper who played in the Semi-Final has had a dip in form this season, following an injury to his shoulder; he has been less than convincing.

Roberto told the press that Ali is still carrying such an injury. Will Joel Robles get the nod? I would expect so. Which is a shame for Ali a man who really has taken to this football club, and we have taken to him.

Now for the other Roberto, and Mancini has very little to worry about. The only doubts ahead of their game were Yaya Toure and Scott Sinclair. The former Latics Sinclair will miss the game after having surgery on his shoulder to remove a blood clot.

Toure meanwhile has declared himself fit. The midfielder struggled against Swansea City last weekend, and then was rested for Manchester City’s game against West Bromwich Albion. The midfielder talking to the press says the week off has rejuvenated him, and he is ready to help City beat Latics on Saturday.

Unlike Wigan there is no doubt over the change of goalkeeper for the game; Mr Mancini already stating that England international Joe Hart will not feature. Instead Wigan will face Romanian 6ft8 keeper Costel Pantilimon. City’s cup keeper has shown why the club like him, keeping four clean sheets and only conceding one goal in this year’s competition.

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