Coming off the back of two successive defeats that shouldn’t have been, T’Wanderers return to T’Reebok for the localist of local derbies (as far as we’re concerned) against our pie eating cousins from down the B5238.
You’ll remember the return fixture earlier in the season, when Rodellega was more offside than Joe Cole and Didier Drogba put together before he scored his goal in a 1-1 draw that was ‘somewhat’ entertaining.
‘We certainly know the strengths that Wigan have and we will give them the utmost respect. Equally, I will be focusing on my group and making sure that I get the best out of what we have. If we get to our maximum then we have shown that we can stand toe-to-toe with the very best in this league. So on Wednesday we will be looking to get on the front foot and put our stamp on the game. We are working ever so hard at the Reebok, the atmosphere has been terrific and long may that continue.’ St Owen praises just about everybody in two sentences. Good man.
‘The game can’t come quickly enough for us, to try to unite everyone at the club ahead of what I’m sure will be a fantastic derby. Wednesday night is another unique opportunity, though, against a very good team. But again it will be about us and our standards. Derbies are unique experiences. They give that extra little bit of competition and desire, and results are even harder to come by than normal.’ Little Roberto talks about Wigan’s standards, which have seen them fall into the relegation zone.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Paul Robinson returns after his one match ban and should replace Marcos Alonso at left back. Gretar Steinsson and Stuart Holden are both still out and Sean Davis is pretty much out for the season. Again.
Player to watch: Johan Elmander
A Wigan defence that has managed to concede thirty two goals, even with the heroics of Ali Al-Habsi, should be there for the plundering without him. Elmander has gone through a barren spell recently, having scored once in seven games, and if a game asked for a couple from the Swede, this is the one.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Ali Al-Habsi, as stated, is inelligible to play against us, and Chris Kirkland has thrown his back out again, which leaves Farnworth born Mike Pollitt, who is as old as Al-Habsi and Kirkland combined, to go between the sticks.
Other than the goalkeeping situation, Charles N’Zogbia is suspended after a bit of pugilism with Little Jack Wilshere, the big bully.
Player to watch: Mike Pollitt
If there could be anyone else. Pollitt is thirty eight, not twenty eight as the Bolton website has stated in its preview (DOH!), hasn’t played this season so far and, indeed, in his five and a half years at Wigan has played less times than Winston Bogarde did for Chelsea.
Actually, that last bit may be incorrect.
Match Facts & Stats
With Wigan being comparitively new to the professional game, the clubs have only played each other twenty eight times in the league, with Wigan just edging it 11-10 In the Premier League, Bolton have won three to Wigan’s five.
The mighty Julian Darby is still Bolton’s top scorer with four goals in the 80’s and 90’s. In the Premier League, Johan Elmander’s goal at the JDW in October brought him level with Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Davies and the mighty Andranik Teymourian as the fixtures leading scorer in the Premier League. With two.
Phil Dowd takes charge of this game. Wigan fans think that he is their own version of Rob Styles and Barry Knight and here is what they said about him earlier in the week over at Vital Pies:
“47 year old Dowd has been at the centre of quite a bit of controversy when officiating in Latics matches in the past, most notably when Paul Jewell was in charge at the DW Stadium, turning down numerous penalty appeals, allowing goals even though there were blatant fouls and not allowing players back on to the field of play following treatment for injury resulting in goals being conceded, yep Mr Dowd and Mr Jewell still aren`t on speaking terms apparently.”
As for us, this is his third game of the season for T’Trotters, taking charge previously in the draws against United and Everton.
Wigan’s shocking inability to score more than a goal a game means this has a clean sheet written all over it. So 2-0 it is then.
York come to T’Reebok for T’Cup on Saturday before Stoke try and bully us a week on Saturday in T’League.