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Top four challenge continues for Citizens…

Kick-Off: Monday, March 29, GMT 20:00.
City of Manchester Stadium, SportCity, Manchester

Manchester City’s challenge to finish in the top four of the Premier League continues as they welcome Wigan Athletic to Eastlands on Monday night.

Despite being labelled by many pundits as the favourites to qualify for the Champions League ahead of the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, City are yet to build a decisive advantage.

The midweek home defeat to Everton was a major blow for Roberto Mancini, with his side suffering their first loss in front of their own fans and now trailing Spurs by five points, although this is their game in hand.

Hugo Rodallega’s last minute header handed Wigan a crucial 1-0 victory over Burnley last weekend, although there is still a lot of work for the Latics to do if they are to achieve Premier League survival.

After Hull City’s win on Saturday, Roberto Martinez’s team are still only four points clear of the drop-zone on 31 points from as many games, meaning a few more positive results are needed to reach the 40 point milestone.

This season they have struggled on the road though, leaking 39 goals in 15 games and winning just three times away from the DW Stadium.

FORM GUIDE

Manchester City


Mar 24: Manchester City 0-2 Everton (Premier League)
Mar 21: Fulham 1-2 Manchester City (Premier League)
Mar 14: Sunderland 1-1 Manchester City (Premier League)
Feb 27: Chelsea 2-4 Manchester City (Premier League)
Feb 24: Stoke City 3-1 Manchester City [AET] (FA Cup)

Wigan Athletic

Mar 20: Wigan Athletic 1-0 Burnley (Premier League)
Mar 16: Wigan Athletic 1-2 Aston Villa (Premier League)
Mar 13: Bolton Wanderers 4-0 Wigan Athletic (Premier League)
Mar 08: Wigan Athletic 1-0 Liverpool (Premier League)
Feb 27: Birmingham City 1-0 Wigan Athletic (Premier League)

TEAM NEWS

Manchester City


Roberto Mancini welcomes back Togo international striker Emmanuel Adebayor after a four game absence through suspension and he is expected to go straight back into the team to partner Carlos Tevez in attack.

City will make a late fitness check on Stephen Ireland (shin), while Wayne Bridge, Martin Petrov and Joleon Lescott are all still out.

Possible starting XI (4-4-2): Given; Richards, Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta; Wright-Phillips, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy; Tevez, Adebayor.

Wigan Athletic

Wigan's only two injury concerns ahead of the game are over Charles N'Zogbia and Emmerson Boyce, who will both undergo fitness tests prior to kick-off.

N'Zogbia is struggling with a hip injury, while Boyce has issues with both his back and groin.

Possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Kirkland; Melchiot, Caldwell, Bramble, Figueroa; Diame, Thomas; Rodallega, McCarthy, Scharner; Moreno.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester City – Emmanuel Adebayor


Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been almost overshadowed at Eastlands since his big-money summer move because of the excellent form of Carlos Tevez this season.

A number of factors have meant Adebayor has struggled to assert himself - as a goal return of just nine proves - but he has a chance to make his mark here.

Wigan Athletic – Hugo Rodallega

Hugo Rodallega’s well-taken winning goal against Burnley last week could eventually prove to be decisive in deciding Wigan’s Premier League fate.

The Colombia forward has the chance to get into double figures for the campaign on Monday, and he will have to be on top form if his side are to pick up a result.

PREDICTION

Manchester City’s result against Everton was a major blow to their top four aspirations, meaning they simply have to get back to winning ways at the first opportunity.

You never know what Wigan side are going to turn up on any given day, but Roberto Martinez will be hoping for a good performance with his side still needing more points to secure survival.

In what could be an open, entertaining game at Eastlands, City should have too much firepower for the Latics.

Manchester City 3–1 Wigan Athletic

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