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FA Cup

  • May 11, 2013
  • • 17:15
  • • Wembley Stadium, London
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 86254

Manchester City - Wigan Preview: Martinez's underdogs targeting first major trophy win

Manchester City - Wigan Preview: Martinez's underdogs targeting first major trophy win

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Roberto Mancini's side are overwhelming favourites to win the FA Cup for the second time in three years when the two Premier League clubs clash at Wembley on Saturday



Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Yaya Toure, Barry
Silva, Tevez, Nasri


Boyce, Caldwell, Scharner, Espinoza
McCarthy, Watson, McArthur
McManaman, Kone, Maloney

Yaya Toure has declared himself fit to start at the heart of Manchester City's midfield in Saturday's FA Cup final against Wigan.

The Ivorian missed City's midweek victory over West Brom but has been training throughout the week after being brought off at half-time against Swansea last weekend.

Scott Sinclair is unavailable after undergoing surgery on a blood clot in his shoulder but otherwise Roberto Mancini has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Wigan, on the other hand, are currently decimated by injury problems. Ivan Ramis will miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury while fellow centre-back Antolin Alcaraz faces a race to be fit having suffered a hamstring tear last month.

Jean Beausejour (hamstring) is also a doubt and Maynor Figueroa's season has been ended by a groin problem, so Roberto Martinez is likely to continue with a flat back four.

To add to their woes, Ronnie Stam suffered a suspected broken leg less than a minute after coming off the bench in the 3-2 defeat to Swansea on Tuesday. Albert Crusat (knee) is a longer-term absentee.

  • Manchester City will be looking to lift the FA Cup for the sixth time on Saturday, which would draw them level with Newcastle and Blackburn on the all-time winners' list and put them within touching distance of seven-time winners Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa.
  • Under Roberto Mancini, City ended a trophy drought stretching back to 1976 when they won the FA Cup in 2011. They followed it up with the Premier League title a year later.
  • In reverse order, City have seen off Chelsea, Barnsley, Leeds, Stoke and Watford to reach the final. They did not concede a goal until their semi-final meeting with Rafa Benitez's team.
  • Wigan have never won a top-flight competition in their 81-year history. Their last trophy was the Second Division (now League One) title in 2002-03.
  • The Latics have seen off Millwall, Everton, Huddersfield, Macclesfield and Bournemouth en route to the final. They needed a replay to see off the Cherries in the third round, but have conceded only two goals in six matches.
  • Jordi Gomez and Callum McManaman top the FA Cup goalscoring charts for Martinez's team, having bagged three goals each so far.
  • If Wigan were to win at Wembley and finish the Premier League season in their current position of 18th, they would be the lowest-ranked side to win the FA Cup since West Ham in 1980. The Hammers were in the second tier when they beat Arsenal.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
22Gael ClichyDefender
33Matija NastasicDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
4Vincent KompanyDefender
21David SilvaStriker
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
8Samir NasriMidfielder
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
10Carlos TévezStriker
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
26Jack RodwellMidfielder
26Javi GarcíaMidfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
17Emmerson BoyceDefender
-James McArthurMidfielder
16James McCarthyMidfielder
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
33Paul ScharnerMidfielder
-R. EspinozaMidfielder
9Arouna KoneStriker
15Callum McManamanStriker
10Shaun MaloneyStriker
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
5Gary CaldwellDefender
-Román GolobartDefender
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
20Fraser FyvieMidfielder
-Ángelo HenríquezStriker
9Franco Di SantoStriker
Players to Watch
Yaya Touré
Yaya Touré
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 42
Games Goals YC RC
4 0 2 0
City, though clear favourites for this final regardless, will hope the Ivorian is fully fit after enduring a nagging injury problem over the course of the last week because there has been few more inspirational performers in this competition in recent years. Toure scored the only goal as City ended their long wait for silverware two years ago against Stoke. Roberto Mancini's team has not been on fire in front of goal lately - they have scored only five goals in their past five games - but Toure, at his best, can push them to another level. The Wigan midfield, although talented, will struggle to cope with his physicality.
James McCarthy
James McCarthy
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 16
Games Goals YC RC
4 0 1 0
The gifted 22-year-old is the standout player in the Wigan team and, with a host of top clubs rumoured to be interested in his signature, will test himself against the best at Wembley. If the Latics are to have any chance of upsetting their more illustrious opponents the Irishman will need to get his foot on the ball and give them some sense of control in central midfield. The stage is set for a career-defining display ahead of a summer Wigan are likely to spend trying to hold on to their prize asset.
With seven goals in their last three games, Wigan have certainly proved their attacking capability as the season reaches its climax but their glaring defensive issues are too troublesome to ignore. The Latics were shambolic against Swansea in midweek and although they will almost certainly improve on that display, the higher calibre of opposition is likely to make it another difficult afternoon. It has been a disappointing season for City, but Roberto Mancini has been able to rotate his team to prepare for this match and ensure the Etihad Stadium trophy cabinet is not left empty.
Editor's Prediction

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