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Match Preview: Wigan Athletic vs Aston Villa

Wigan Athletic’s last Premier League game, for a while anyway, and what symbolism that it is the reverse of where it all started for Roberto Martinez as Wigan manager. Since that day Aston Villa have seen a few changes, players and managers alike have come and gone, yet they are staying in the Premier League next season.

Scott Heavey

It was built as the big decider. If Wigan could hold onto the last day, then maybe, just maybe they could pip Aston Villa to the post with a home win. Personally I don’t think we would have done it, all our other major survival feats have all come away from home, so a home tie to save out game wasn’t right.

However it is all circumstantial now as Wigan Athletic will be a Championship club next season, an FA Cup winning Championship team though. That means more than staying up to me. Yes we lose out on a lot of money, but this club is making a name for itself, and we will be back in the Premier League; but it’s not every day you win the FA Cup though, especially in the Chelsea dominated years.

So what about this game at the weekend, does anyone care?

The players now maybe thinking about beaches they can disappear of to. While the mangers (Roberto Martinez) maybe thinking whether or not it is time to close the chapter of Wigan Athletic again in his life. So I don’t expect much, I hope I am wrong.

It would be great to see the passion and the desire this team can show when we have our tails up and dismantle a team. This is the chance for Latics to show what the Premier League will miss before we slip back to the Championship.

And what will they miss? An honest hard working club who has a great passing philosophy which is the envy of many football clubs, on song we can beat anybody, as shown by our shiny new trophy. It is also what Aston Villa felt before Christmas as Wigan turned on the class and beat them 3-0.

Can we do it again? Why not, there will be no Ivan Ramis but in his place we have Antolin Alcaraz. It is also possible that we could see the return of Adrain Lopez and Jean Beasuejour to the starting line-up. The two could really help to solidify the defence for the final game. It may be too little too late but let’s get some pride back.

One worry is Callum McManaman who we have yet to hear any word of. The winger was taken off on a stretcher against Arsenal and will miss the weekend's game. So who will come in to replace him? There are a few options open to Roberto Martinez. Personally I would look for another younger forward, Nouah Dicko.

With Angelo Henriquez on his way back to Manchester United and Franco Di Santo leaving in the summer, the chance for one of the other younger stars of the team to be given a chance maybe a good thing.

That though is the only doubt for Latics. Aston Villa though will be unchanged. Only Christian Benteke will miss the game, and had we been going into this game needing a win that would have been a great thing. But with nothing to play for it seems pointless.

The striker has been by far Aston Villa’s player this season, only piping Gabriel Agbonlahor to the post. The striker who has been on and off for the past few years has found new form under Paul Lambert and for me should be in line for an England call up.

Villa will be out to prove a point and on a day the Villains are dedicating to ex-captain Stylian Petrov expect their players to step up to the plate. For me I will stand and applaud the Villa captain in the 19th minute as he continues his recovery from leukaemia.

Wigan Athletic’s last ever Premier League game for a while, a return in two seasons I can see on the cards. But for our last game let’s hope our lads make a good go of it and go out with a bang.