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Premier League

  • 25 February 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 20601
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Wigan Athletic - Aston Villa Preview: Struggling hosts looking for just their second home win this season

Two of the Premier League's most out of form sides meet with Roberto Martinez's men looking to move off the bottom of the table


PROBABLE LINEUPS

Wigan

Al Habsi
Stam, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa
McCarthy, Watson, Diame, Bausejour
Moses
Rodallega.

Aston Villa

Given
Hutton, Cuellar, Collins, Warnock
Albrighton, Ireland, Petrov, N'Zogbia
Keane, Bent.


Villa will have to make do without Richard Dunne after the towering defender fractured his shoulder in the Villans' defeat against Manchester City two weeks ago. Alex McLeish is expected to call upon Carlos Cuellar, who has reportedly been recently offered a new contract, to replace the Irishman at the back.

Ciaran Clark is also unavailable due to a knee injury and McLeish may also have to do without Barry Bannan after the Scottish midfielder picked up an ankle knock while playing for Villa's reserves in mid-week.

Roberto Martinez has a fully fit and available squad to choose from and will need his side to perform at their fullest as they look to drag themselves off the bottom of the Premier League.


DID YOU KNOW

  • Alex McLeish's side have been tough to beat on their travels this season but have drawn exactly half of their away games in the Premier League.
  • Robbie Keane will play the last game of his loan-spell from LA Galaxy, only three players have outscored Keane for Aston Villa this season (Bent, Agbonlahor, Petrov).
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor (pictured right) will make the 250th appearance of his club career if he makes an appearance.
  • Wigan's home form has been dismal all season, picking up only one win in front of their own fans, a 2-0 triumph against QPR back in August.
  • Roberto Martinez will be hoping for Hugo Rodallega to continue his slight return to form, after failing to find the net in the second half of 2011, the Colombian has netted twice in five games since the turn of the year.
  • A win could see Wigan move from the bottom of the Premier League to outside the relegation places as they are only two points behind 17th placed Blackburn. Villa will be nervously looking over their shoulder in 15th, just seven points off the drop zone and woefully out of form.
  • Wigan have failed to score more than one goal in their last six Premier League games at home.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
5Gary CaldwellDefender
17Emmerson BoyceDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
16James McCarthyMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
-James McArthurMidfielder
11Jean BeausejourMidfielder
9Franco Di SantoStriker
1Chris KirklandGoalkeeper
-Ronnie StamDefender
8Albert CrusatMidfielder
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
19David JonesMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
6Alan HuttonDefender
13Stephen WarnockDefender
19James CollinsDefender
24Carlos Javier CuéllarDefender
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
46Barry BannanMidfielder
38Gary GardnerMidfielder
39Darren BentStriker
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
7Robbie KeaneStriker
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
2Nathan BakerDefender
32Stephen IrelandMidfielder
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
17Chris HerdMidfielder
-Emile HeskeyStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
Players to Watch
Victor Moses
Victor Moses
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The former Crystal Palace youngster has the dribbling skills to trouble a Villa back-line that is likely to be lacking in pace and he will be keen to link up with fellow speed merchant Hugo Rodallega up front for the Latics.

The one-time England U21 international also has the strength to contest with Collins and Cuellar and enough power in his boots to keep Given on his toes throughout as he looks to continue an impressive season in a struggling team.
Charles N'Zogbia
Charles N'Zogbia
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 1 0
The French winger has failed to re-capture the form he showed at Wigan following his £9 million summer switch to Villa Park but he will be desperate to put in a good showing against his former club.

The former Newcastle man seems to be consistently inconsistent and despite a quiet season under McLeish, Latics supporters will be all too aware of the explosiveness with which N'Zogbia can tear apart teams after seeing it regularly at the DW Stadium previously.
Prediction
This is unlikely to be a tidy game with both teams in dreadful form. Villa fans have been frustrated with Alex McLeish's pragmatic and physical approach to football while the Latics have often been accused of lacking steel in their side as Roberto Martinez tries to assert a neat passing style in his side that has barely worked so far this season.

Still, both sides have a lot to play for and with games running out to save their seasons, both sides are likely to be going all out for a win which is certain to result in an engaging affair at the DW Stadium.
Editor's Prediction
Wigan 1

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