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Match Preview: Rubin Kazan vs Wigan Athletic

Well here starts the second round of fixtures for the Europa League group stages. Heading into it Wigan sit second on five points, with two away games and one home game to go. If Wigan are to progress we ideally need a point from tonight's game, but away in Russia it isn't going to be easy.

Chris Brunskill

The bookmakers have us, overwhelmingly, as the underdogs. Wigan as a team are very much use to that and we often thrive in the face of adversity. Tonight we face a Rubin Kazan side that hasn't won a game in their last five matches. Wigan on the other hand haven't lost a game in their last four, can we continue the run.

In the reverse fixture a couple of weeks ago, I think many of we Wigan fans felt that Kazan would come here and roll us over. They had done so to both Maribor and Zulte Waregem, and we in turn expected the same. A early goal which could have been avoid seemed to seal our fate. Another Nick Powell wonder goal, and a the team shifting up through the gears meant that it was more the blue and white way the game flowed.

A win at home would have been massive, as it is we got to Russia realistically needing a point; especially if Maribor beat Zulte Waregem.

So who has traveled for Wigan? Well the players who haven't consist of the usually number plus Jean Beasuesjour. Thomas Rogne who hasn't featured in the past couple of games has traveled with the side and could feature to allow other players to get some rest in.

It is hard to see who else will be dropped out of the side though, does Coyle go for the jugular and risk fatigue his players. It must be a tempting thought, however including the likes of Roger Espionza and Nouah Dicko could be a realistic possibility. Very few of our players have experience at this level, and the ones that do are more than likely going to be rested for Yeovil at the weekend.

All eyes to Russian then tonight, where the temperature is not to different to that back home in England. For the lucky few who have made the trip over, enjoy what will be a glorious night of European football, and hopefully a Latics win.