Where and when:
Saturday 21st October, JJB Stadium
Since the Chesterfield cup exit we have gone three games unbeaten (although two of those have been draws), yet we are still to win away from home this season and have the joint worst defensive away record.
Wigan meanwhile have struggled in their second season in the top flight and hover slightly above the relegation zone, and have only scored more than one goal once this season. Also of concern for Wigan is the fact that they have 'lost' eight points from winning positions this season.
Wigan are likely to be unchanged for the lunchtime encounter, and most of their big guns are available. For City, Vassell and Beasley are not quite fit enough to return, whist Sun Jihai has had an injury setback. Nicky Weaver is hoping to be fit to return in goal, but otherwise Joe Hart will fill in again.
Keys to the game:
Usually I would say 'don't go behind' but it appears Wigan are prone to throwing good positions away this season. Seriously though, although the Everton result was impressive our away form remains poor and our goals against record is in stark contrast to our home one. Last season we shipped four at the JJB and we can ill afford a repeat.
It seems at the moment so much is reliant on the performance of Joey Barton. The attack is not blessed with pace or creativity so Barton's foray forward are crucial. Hopefully, Hatem Trabelsi will provide an option out wide - although he comes up agains the impressive Leighton Baines.
Why City will win:
Wigan could be set for a struggle this season after their impressive debut last term and have struggled for goals and points as their many new faces are taking time to settle in. Confidence is on the up in the camp and it could be the day to build on our home record and end our away woes.
Why City will lose:
Because away from home we are woeful, leaking far too many goals which doesn't give you much hope on your travels. Wigan are also looking to end a poor run of form and no team is usually as accomodating as ourselves. Add to this the fact Wigan did the double over us last season and we may struggle to get anything from this fixture.
Wigan 1 City 2
Friday, October 20, 2006
Where and when: