This game couldn't be less wanted than a hole in the head. We need league points, not FA Cup games where player get tired and could get injured. Yet we have no choice, and the best that the team can do is go out and win the game. Get through to the fourth round and start to rebuild the teams confidence. That though is easier said than done.
The thing with Wigan, is that we like being the under dog. We never seem to do well when the expectations are high and we are the media's favourite. It seems to mean we fall flat on our faces, hoping tonight will not be the same. Although it is unlikely to be a first choice line up playing this evening.
Roberto Martinez has already hinted at Mauro Boselli starting the game. There have also been hints that Nouha Dicko, Aneglo Henriquez, Roman Golobart and Roger Espinoza will start the game. That would suggest it will be a good mixed group of players. Daniel Redmond, Frazer Fyvie, and possibly Lee Mustoe could also feature in some capacity tonight.
Some yet again a youthful squad, but it is playing in games like these that young players develop and start to learn their trade in the senior side. Many have complained about playing such a 'weak' squad. Well look at this way, we have four players out injured at the moment, and only a squad size of 26. Keeping the first team as fresh as possible is important, as is getting the fringe players a game to keep them on their toes.
The question at hand for the game is have out young players learnt to cope with the desire and willingness to work of the lower league side? They will have played in the under-21 league against teams filled with players their own age who aren't going at it 110%. Tonight against Bournemouth they won't hold back.
That has to be what we combat. Keeping the ball killing their football and making them frustrated, turn he crowd on them and sneak a couple of goals in the back door.
Eddie Howe though will have his team well drilled. They will be going out confident and well organised. They currently have a 19 match unbeaten in all competitions, and will be wanting to continue that. They did the same thing at the DW Stadium two weeks ago. Getting behind the ball and holding strong, looking to hit us on the counter.
A slight change in that tactic to take into account the home advantage, and I think Bournemouth will play slightly more open. Could that be our way in?
Can Henriquez and Boselli expose it? Are they going to be able to find the gaps they failed to against them first time round? I have to feel yes they will. Latics will be more prepared for this, while Martinez will want to come away from the south coast with team through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.