Latics don’t have much of an FA Cup history. We don’t’ seem to do well in it. This season has been different, we have been lucky in the draw and very lucky to gain some wins against Bournemouth and Mansfield. Last time out against Huddersfield we turned up the class and walked away comfortable winners, we now need to do that again.
So far this season we have face Everton twice, at home we drew 2-2. Latics the better side and probably deserved all three points, yet we couldn’t hold onto our 2-1 lead or extended it anymore. At Goodison at Christmas time we lost 2-1, Arouna Kone pulling a goal back for Latics, but it was too little too late.
This time it has to be different and I hope it will be different. The team will be, chances will be given to returning players and the fringe players to show their worth this weekend. Antolin Alcaraz, Adrain Lopez and Ryo Miyaichi will all make their first starts this weekend. Boolster them with Callum McManaman, Roman Golobart, Frazer Fyvie, Roger Espionza, Jordi Gomez, Ronnie Stam, Joel Robles and Angelo Henriquez; you have one damn strong side. If that is the team to face Everton this weekend, I think we will give it a damn good try.
Everton though won’t be resting too many players; they have their eyes on some silverware.
The Toffees had a fantastic start to the season, and when we first played them back in October, the 2-2 draw was a fantastic result against a rising Everton side. Fast forward to Christmas and they are still plodding along, not as fast but still around the top six places. Jump to March and you see them stuggling with a serious of draws, the hope of Champions League football is slipping away; 6th place and seven points to chat up.
So for them their season now comes down to possibly and hopefully beating little Wigan Athletic and winning the FA Cup. They certainly have players who could hurt us, and as David Moyes plans not rest any of his key men, Wigan could be on the end of a battering.
Let’s not get too down heartened though. Everton haven’t kept a clean sheet since a 0-0 draw with Southampton back in January, so there is a chance we might score one. Its at the other end we could get caught out at though, even though Nikita Jelavic hasn’t scored since the 5-1 demolition of Cheltenham in the same completion, Everton haven’t had a consistent goal-scorer.
Kevin Mirallas has stepped up since his return, and the player bought in the summer looks to have added an extra dimension to Everton in the past few weeks. Whether or not the striker will start against Wigan is unknown. It is more likely Wigan will meet Jelavic and Victor Anichebe up front for Everton. Even that is a combination for our defence to worry about.
At the end of the day we have a chance to go somewhere in this cup competition now, if we were mid-table and safe from relegation, then we defiantly would be going for it. Yet with relegation a possibility on the horizon we can’t afford players getting injured or fatigued and they must be rested to aid in or League survival.