It must be getting close to Christmas: A second 3pm Saturday kick off in a row, what is the world coming to? I’m sure we’ll have to pay for it though and sure enough the removal of the traditional Boxing Day fixture in favour of an eight o’clock kick off on the 27th is penance enough.
But enough of that for now, City travel to Wigan where they will hope to avoid what has become a ritual humiliation in recent years.
Both of our last two visits have seen us concede four and in truth both could have been worse.
Wigan have struggled this season however, whilst City have turned last season’s form on its head; expectations are high that we can get a result .
Standing in City’s way is a Wigan side hoping to be rejuvinated after the appointment of Steve Bruce as manager and looking for an injenction of ‘new manager syndrome’.
City’s record against Bruce is infinitely better than their Premiership record against Wigan so something will have to give as the blues begin what will be a critical month of their season.
Victory will see City go second in the league; at least until Monday night.
Sven reflects on the return of Heskey to the Wigan squad and the fact they have a new manager.
‘Heskey’s a very good football player, very strong and important for them up front. Before he got injured he was having a very good season and played very well for England as well.
‘It’s the worst moment to meet them, it’s a new manager, we don’t really know how they are going to play.
‘And of course it’s the first home game for the new manager and all the support they will have from the fans there.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Antonio Valencia is set to return to the Wigan side that lost at Arsenal.
Player to watch: Sibierski:
The man with the 50 pence piece head is quite obviously a danger against his old club.
Manchester City Team News:
Elano is missing with an hamstring injury, Geovanni is likely to replace him.
Corluka and Mpenza are expected to feature after both shook off knocks from last weekend.
Player to watch: Geovanni:
The Brazilian looked good last week when he came on against Reading. Will hopefully relish the opportunity to shine in Elano’s absence.
Match Facts & Stats:
Wigan have scored four times in each of their two home Premier League meetings with Manchester City.
City have failed to score in their last three league meetings with Wigan.
Wigan have one each of the four Premier League games between the clubs.
Home and away record:
League (inc PL): Wigan 4 wins, Man City 3, Draws 1
Premier League: Wigan 4 wins, Man City 0, Draws 0
Mike Riley: Honestly; the less said the better.
Despite Wigan’s need to impress the new gaffer I see City overturning their awful record at the JJB with a comfortable 2-0 win.
Tottenham (a) 08/12/2007 3pm (again)