Barely three and a half weeks after we played Wigan in a game so poor I almost fell asleep at the wheel not listening to it (see here), our neighbours from down the B5238 visit T’Reebok again for the FA Cup Fourth Round. Unlike the previous round, when York City brought their average attendance multiplied by three, Wigan’s supporters will all be catching the same bus, even though by the time they get on it, it will be standing room only already. Luckily, they’ll all still be able to fit on.
‘Going into the cup we said we wanted to go as far as we can. Teams have shown before that form in the cup can go hand in hand with improving your place in the league. Our aim on Saturday is to get up and running, after what was a disappointing night on Monday.‘
St Owen lulls us into thinking that he will play a strong team. Time will tell.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
After putting up a team wide poor shift on Monday night, the game gives St Owen a chance to make some changes. Bogdan should start in place of Jussi and Wheater will come in for his debut in place of either Cahill or Knight. Or, the way that some people are talking him up, both Cahill and Knight. Ivan Klasnic should be available after his groin injury. After that, your guess is as good as mine as the manager has a virtually full squad to choose from, barring the returning Chung-Yong Lee.
Player to watch: David Wheater
He’s large, he’s nice, he uses his head to smash ice, David Wheater. Being handed his debut tomorrow, this is his chance to impress us all, even hardened naysayers like myself, and prove he is capable of holding down a first choice place.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Although Ali Al-Habsi is ineligible, he probably wouldn’t have played anyway and it is either Kirkland or Pollit, although Pollit was on the bench for Tuesday’s loss to Villa.
The BBC says: ‘Wigan youngsters Callum McManaman, Jordan Mustoe, Jordan Robinson and Daniel Redmond are in contention. James McCarthy and Franco Di Santo are rested after recent injuries but Gary Caldwell is available after suspension.’
Player to watch: Hmmmm….
It’s the cup, Wigan are bound to play some kids even their own fans haven’t heard of. So we’ll take a week off on this one shall we.
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton and Wigan have never met in the FA Cup before, but have met in other competitions. The first was the Associate Members Cup Northern Final in 1986 (That’s the Johnstone Paints Trophy for our younger viewers) in a 3-1 aggregate win.
That, however, remains our one and only victory in cup games as Wigan have beaten us in the three times we’ve met since, a 5-4 aggregate loss in the first round of the 1987-88 League Cup, a 1-0 home loss in the 1989-90 Associate Members Cup and a 2-0 loss in the 2004-05 League Cup Quarter Final.
So we’re due one.
Andre Marriner. The West Midlands official has taken charge of two Bolton games this season, the 3-1 one at West Ham, where he booked SuperKev, Elmander, Steinsson and Robinson, and the 1-0 loss at the Council House, where he booked SuperKevinDavies (again) and Knight, as well as sending off Kolarov. Not that that did us any good.
Bogdan in goal, Wheater in defence, Klasnic up front? A load of urchins playing for Wigan. 2-0 all over it.
The inferior Wanderers come to T’Reebok on Wednesday to receive another nail in their relegation coffin.