Premier League Preview: Manchester United - Wigan Athletic

Two defeats already in December, United can't afford a third...

Kick Off: Wednesday December 30, 2009, 20:00 GMT
Old Trafford, Manchester

It isn't often that Manchester United worry about an opponent, and the statistics would certainly suggest they have little need to lose a night's sleep over this one.

Sir Alex Ferguson has won the last ten meetings between these two sides.

However, Wigan have been tricky opponents ever since Tottenham put nine past them. And they have not failed to score in any game since October. That could prove handy against a side struggling to stop them going in at the other end.

Manchester United of course are still gunning for Chelsea, and with five defeats already to their name this season, any more could be catastrophic.

The Christmas period though has often made or broken any title challenge. Fulham have played an important role, defeating United but dropping points late to Chelsea.

Wigan are surely set to feel Sir Alex Ferguson's full wrath?


Manchester United

Dec 27 Hull City 1-3 Manchester United
Dec 19 Fulham 3-0 Manchester United
Dec 15 Manchester United 3-0 Wolves
Dec 12 Manchester United 0-1 Aston Villa
Dec 08 Wolfsburg 1-3 Manchester United (Champions League)

Wigan Athletic

Dec 26 Wigan Athletic 1-1 Blackburn Rovers
Dec 16 Liverpool 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Dec 12 Stoke City 2-2 Wigan Athletic
Dec 05 Birmingham City 3-2 Wigan Athletic
Nov 28 Wigan Athletic 1-0 Sunderland


Manchester United

Apart from the usual long-term absentees, Man Utd should have no fresh injury worries.

Paul Scholes was missing at the weekend but should return for the visit of Wigan.

Last Starting XI(v Hull): Kuszczak, Evra, Brown, Vidic, Rafael, Giggs, Carrick, Fletcher, Valencia, Berbatov, Rooney

Wigan Athletic

Wigan also have no fresh injury concerns; Mohamed Diame is the only player missing.

Last Starting XI(v Blackburn): Kirkland, Scharner, Boyce, Bramble, Melchiot, Figueroa, Thomas, N'Zogbia, Gomez, Scotland, Rodallega


Manchester United - Wayne Rooney

Rooney was the man who downed Hull when United were not playing at their best, and is the one to rely on when times are hard. Likely to be Rooney again on the scoresheet.

Wigan Athletic - Hugo Rodallega

Was picked out to be the star man against Blackburn, and did not disappoint by notching his seventh goal of the season. If Wigan are to get anything at Old Trafford, an eighth goal would go a long way to acheiving that.


Wigan's recent results have not been kind considering how well they have played in most of the games. They are not a team struggling for form, just one struggling for points.

That said, Old Trafford is not generally the place where a long awaited win comes for the away side. Expect Wigan to be competitive, but the home side should prevail in the end.

Manchester United 2-1 Wigan Athletic

Andrew Southwick, UK

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