Wigan dare to do the impossible

Stu Forster

Wigan face the visit to the Ethiad Stadium this weekend with last year's Memorable Match in May in mind for both teams. Will Wigan do it again?

Uwe Rosler returns to the Ethiad Stadium to face his old club 16 years after he left Manchester City to join FC Kaiserslautern. Having beaten Lung Cancer, he returned to management in 2005 and is now preparing to face the monumental task in the form of Manchester City at home with his latest project Wigan Athletic.

City have been impeccable this season at the Ethiad Stadium. Having only lost at home 4 times in all competitions in 3 seasons and dropped 8 points in the same time period. Manuel Pellegrini's side will forever be haunted about what happened in the Final in May and will be looking for nothing to be repeated. The League Cup Winners faced a scare at home in the FA Cup earlier this season when they went 2-0 down against Championship opposition Watford. I'm sure this will be something that Wigan can look to if they have anything to look to at all.

There is a chance tomorrow however, City face the third of 4 fixtures in 2 weeks. Pellegrini will look to rest someof his players ahead of his sides return leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night but Pellegrini was adamant he was focusing to avoid a repeat of the cup upset last season when he spoke to BBC Sport:

"We are just thinking about the game against Wigan," said the Chilean. "We know it is a tough game. They are playing very well and have won their last four. When we finish on Sunday we will start thinking about Barcelona.

With another Cup scare last weekend against Sunderland and players appearing in the International Friendlies midweek, City will take advantage of the depth they possess and rotate their squad which could work in Wigan's favor possibly avoiding the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri all of whom bar Nasri featured midweek for their respective nations.

Wigan meanwhile have had a full week to prepare for this huge fixture with little international involvement, having won LMA performance of the month for their 4-1 victory at Nottingham Forest and Uwe Rosler winning Manager of the Month for February, confidence will be high ahead of the game at City as will the emotions of Rosler who insists the focus should be on his players who will play with no fear when he spoke to the Wigan Evening Post:

"It's about Wigan Athletic playing Manchester City and the focus should all be on the players"

"We have done so well in getting this far - it's only the third time the football club has ever reached the quarter finals - and there should be recognition for the players"

Team News-

Manchester City: Matija Nastasic and Steven Jovetic remain Manchester City's only absentees withhamstring and knee injuries. Sergio Aguero who returned against Sunderland last week played 55 minutes for Argentina on Wednesday so looks set to feature at some point on Sunday.

Wigan Athletic: Nick Powell returned to training this week after a hamstring injury but still looks unlikely to feature. Callum McManaman who was Man of the Match against City in May could appear this weekend after overcoming an ankle injury. Shaun Maloney retunred to training this week after rehabilitation on a hip injury whilst Gary Caldwell remains out.

The centre of the field is where this game will be won or lost for either side tomorrow as it was in May, the midfield 3 of Jordi Gomez, Chris McCann and James McArthur look set to come up against Fernandinho and the Powerhouse Yaya Toure. Wigan will have to be at the best at the back to keep out the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko meanwhile at the other end of the field Marc Antoine Fortune will look to exploit Martin Demichelis' alarming lack of pace and his urge to push up field. With 3,750 of the Wigan following looking set to travel tomorrow, the Fa Cup Holders will be cheered on by a full away end as Uwe Rosler and Wigan Athletic attempt the unthinkable.

Odds-  (Paddy Power)

Man City- 1/6 (fav)

Draw- 7/1

Wigan- 16/1

Pick- Wigan 1-0 @55/1

Other Fixtures:

Sheffield United vs Charlton Athletic

Hull City vs Sunderland

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