Manchester United - Wigan Preview: Red Devils looking to avenge the DW defeat which helped cost them the title
The Latics defeated Sir Alex Ferguson's side for the first time in their history last season during their disastrous run-in but have never earned even a point at Old Trafford
By Ewan Roberts
Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Nani
Alcaraz, Caldwell, Ramis
Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Figueroa
Kone, Di Santo, Maloney
Wayne Rooney (leg) is still several weeks away from returning to first-team action after sustaining a nasty gash against Fulham whilst defenders Phil Jones (knee) and Chris Smalling (metatarsal) remain sidelined, so no changes to the back four are anticipated.
Robin van Persie (thigh) and Shinji Kagawa (back) are further doubts after picking up injuries on international duty and may not be risked ahead of United's Champions League clash with Galatasaray. The Dutchman was substituted at half-time in Holland’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary as a “precautionary measure”.
Japanese playmaker Kagawa has been sent for a scan on a persistent back problem which forced him to miss his country’s midweek friendly. Darren Fletcher (bowel) and Ashley Young (knee) are still unavailable for selection.
Roberto Martinez has almost a full quota of players to choose from. Antolin Alcaraz has returned from suspension and will likely replace Maynor Figueroa in Wigan’s back three, assuming he can shake off a niggling groin/pelvis injury.
The Honduran defender is expected to move forwards to left wing-back in place of Jean Beausejour after the Chilean tore his hamstring in Wigan’s last outing against Stoke. James McArthur is now back to full fitness.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester United have yet to keep a clean sheet this season, coming from behind twice and conceding five goals in three games.
- Robin van Persie (pictured right) scored the 100th league goal of his career in his last match against Southampton, taking his tally this season to four league goals and propelling him to joint leading scorer. He has scored 66.6% of Man Utd’s goals.
- The Red Devils have had more shots on goal (54) than any other team, at a rate of 18 shots per game.
- Before losing 1-0 against Wigan last season, Manchester United had a 100% win record against the Latics.
- Wigan have won 8 of their last 12 games and scored in 13 of their last 14, with only Chelsea managing to shut out the Wigan attack.
- Before beating Man Utd 1-0 at the DW Stadium last season, Wigan had never even managed to pick up a single point against the the Red Devils, losing all 13 previous encounters.
- Wigan have scored just once at Old Trafford in seven league appearances, never winning or drawing, and conceded 24 goals.
- The Latics have had three players (Antolin Alcaraz, Hugo Rodallega, Conor Sammon) sent off in their last two visits to Old Trafford.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Sign up today with BetVictor and get a £25 FREE BET!|
Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 3-0 Wigan Athletic
- 20.53 %
Manchester United 3-1 Wigan Athletic
- 12.94 %
Manchester United 2-0 Wigan Athletic
- 10.79 %
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Jan 2013||Wigan Athletic 0 - Manchester United 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||15 Sep 2012||Manchester United 4 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||11 Apr 2012||Wigan Athletic 1 - Manchester United 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2011||Manchester United 5 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Feb 2011||Wigan Athletic 0 - Manchester United 4|
|19 May 2013||West Bromwich Albion 5 - Manchester United 5||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Manchester United 2 - Swansea City 1||EPL|
|5 May 2013||Manchester United 0 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|28 Apr 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Manchester United 1||EPL|
|22 Apr 2013||Manchester United 3 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|Returns:||Manchester United £12.86||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Returns:||Draw £460.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Wigan £460.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
Welbeck has yet to score this season, and conspired to miss a number of chances for England after coming off the bench against the Ukraine in mid-week before winning the penalty which earned the Three Lions a much-needed point. With established frontmen Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie injured/doubtful for the match, the onus could be on Welbeck to score for a United side expected to win and likely to enjoy the majority of possession.
Replacing Victor Moses was never going to be easy, but Arouna Kone is a worthy alternative to the new Chelsea man, marrying together that same blend of pace and directness that Moses possessed whilst adding greater goal threat and precision in the final third. The Ivory Coast striker scored against Southampton and provided the assist for Franco Di Santo’s goal against Stoke. If Wigan hope to get anything out of the game, Kone will need to be firing on all cylinders.
Having never picked up even a single point at Old Trafford and only managing to score once in seven league meetings, the odds are firmly stacked against Wigan. However, a leaky Man Utd defence and a plethora of injuries give an in-form Latics team an outside chance. The Red Devils’ depth in attack should be sufficient, and they can rely on their widemen – Nani and Valencia – to provide creativity and goal threat.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed