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Premier League

  • 29 December 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 33374
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Aston Villa - Wigan Preview: Out-of-form Villans hope to capitalise on Latics' poor away run

Having suffered heavy defeats in both their last two games, Paul Lambert will be hoping his team bounce back in style against a side that has won just twice on the road all season

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Aston Villa's 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Villa Park last season was their first ever Premier League home win over the Latics.
  • The 12 goals Paul Lambert's side have leaked in their last two league matches is just one less than they had conceded in their previous 12 games prior to last week's 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea.
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored five goals in his last 10 games against the Latics.
  • Villa are the least prolific side in the Premier League, netting only 15 goals this season.
  • Wigan Athletic have not beaten Aston Villa since August 2009, where goals from Hugo Rodallega and Jason Koumas saw the Latics return home from Villa Park 2-0 victors.
  • In their first season in the Premier League, Wigan secured a league double over Aston Villa back in 2005-06. Neither side has achieved the feat since.
  • Along with fourth-placed Tottenham, Roberto Martinez's side are the only team not to have drawn a league game away from home this season. From their travels so far this year the Latics have won twice and lost seven.
  • Current Villa player Charles N'Zogbia (pictured) was the last Wigan player to score in this fixture.
  • Roberto Martinez turned down the chance to become Aston Villa manager in the summer of 2011.
  • Referee Kevin Friend took charge of this fixture at the DW season in February last season. The match finished 0-0, with Friend handing out five yellow cards, all to Aston Villa players.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
29Joseph BennettDefender
43Eric LichajDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
32Stephen IrelandMidfielder
14Brett HolmanMidfielder
46Barry BannanMidfielder
17Chris HerdMidfielder
20C. BentekeStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
37Enda StevensDefender
6Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
40Samir CarruthersMidfielder
21Jordan Nathaniel BoweryStriker
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
5Gary CaldwellDefender
17Emmerson BoyceDefender
21Iván RamisDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
16James McCarthyMidfielder
19David JonesMidfielder
11Jean BeausejourMidfielder
9Arouna KoneStriker
9Franco Di SantoStriker
10Shaun MaloneyStriker
12Mike PollittGoalkeeper
-Ronnie StamDefender
-Román GolobartDefender
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
-James McArthurMidfielder
15Callum McManamanStriker
-Mauro BoselliStriker
Players to Watch
C. Benteke
C. Benteke
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With Gabriel Agbonlahor, Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann all expected to miss Saturday's match through injury, there will be even more pressure on the young shoulders of Christian Benteke to find the back of the net than normal. The Belgian has scored eight times for Villa since his summer move from Genk, and was at his very best when he recorded two goals and an assist in his side's shock 3-1 win over Liverpool two weeks ago. In the past two games he has barely had a sniff in front of goal, but the Villla faithful will be relying on him to deliver the goods as they look to rediscover their form in style.
Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The attacker enjoyed an unspectacular 18-month spell at Villa Park before returning to Scotland after failing to settle in England in August 2008. Having returned South of the border with Wigan during the 2011 summer transfer window, Maloney's second spell in England has been slighltly more impressive. He has scored five times for the Latics, including three in morale-boosting victories over Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United last season, and Roberto Martinez will be hoping his playmaker can come back to haunt his former side as Wigan look to end their away day blues.
Prediction
After suffering big losses in both their last two games, Paul Lambert will be determined that his side pick up all three points on Saturday. Wigan have been poor travellers so far this season, and even against a Villa side low on confidence, it is hard to see that changing. The Latics have only ever lost one Premier League fixture at Villa Park though, and with Christian Benteke the only senior striker fully fit available for Aston Villa, it is hard to see where the goals will come from. If the hosts can repeat their performance from their trip to Anfield they should win comfortably, but if it is similar to their last two outings, the best they can hope for is a draw.
Editor's Prediction
Wigan 1

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