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Wigan Athletic FC vs. Manchester City FC

JJB Stadium

28th September 2008

4pm

On Sky

Wigan v Manchester City

City travel to Wigan today a venue that they have notoriously struggled at. City will also need a pick me up after being dumped out of the cup on penalties at Brighton on Wednesday.

Vital Quotes:

Mark Hughes talks about today's opponents Wigan: "If you look at their performances they are a touch unfortunate to have the points they have, you could argue that they should have had more.

"We're under no illusions, they are a big, strong and powerful side. The centre forward Zaki has come in and looks like a good foil for Emile Heskey, who has always given my teams in the past a bit of trouble. I have a healthy respect for the way they are playing at the moment, and it will be a test for us.

"We'll be near enough at full strength, and we'll look to build on the performance we were able to produce against Portsmouth - and put aside the one we produced against Brighton."

Mark then goes on to talk about Steve Bruce: "He's coached and managed at different levels and achieved promotion on several occasions, and I have the greatest respect for what he has done. It's always a big challenge going up against Steve."

Wigan Athletic FC Team News:

Wigan boss Steve Bruce signalled his intent by naming a strong side for the Carling Cup clash and thus there are expected to be only minimal changes for the visit of City.

Jason Koumas was named on the substitutes' bench in midweek but his early season displays could see him edge out summer signing Olivier Kapo to start.

The same could be said of Maynor Figueroa, who will come in at the expense of Kevin Kilbane.

Otherwise, Bruce is likely to stick with those that have performed well to date despite picking up just five points from as many Premier League games this season.

Player to watch: Amr Zaki

The Egyptian international has started his premiership career off with a bang and I expect him to be a real handful for City's defence.

Manchester City FC Team News:

It will be a much altered City side from the one that played on Wednesday that will play at The JJB as Mark Hughes turns to those that so impressed in putting Portsmouth to the sword. An adventurous midfield that includes playmaking duo Stephen Ireland and Elano, along with the rejuvenate Shaun Wright-Phillips will be anchored by Vincent Kompany - who has excelled since joining the club prior to the close of the transfer window.

Robinho has already found his feet upon moving to England on transfer deadline day from Real Madrid, and will be paired alongside Jo, another Brazilian who is starting to show his ability following a big-money switch.

While City were woeful at the Withdean, Wigan were ruthlessly efficient on their travels to Ipswich as they came away from Portman Road with a 4-1 win.

City still have a few long term injuries

Player to watch: Robinho

The Brazilian has skills that you pay to come and see. His display against Portsmouth were a joy to watch and make being a City fan very exciting.

Match Facts & Stats

Wigan have a real who doo over City at present and have never been beaten by City in the premiership and Cityhave only one once in the league in four attempts and that was courtesy of a solitary Shaun Goater goal in October 1998 in Division two at Springfield park.

Ref Watch:

Steve Bennett - interesting his last City game for City was the home fixture against Wigan which ended nil nil. Always been quite a fair referee for City.

Match Prediction:

Wigan are a very difficult team to beat and have some real attacking threats. I think that both teams will score but that who doo will continue and the game to end in a draw. WAFC 2 - 2 MCFC.

Next Fixtures:

FC Omonia at the City of Manchester Stadium on Thursday 2nd October with a 7:45pm kick off.




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The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 28 2008

Time: 11:02AM

Your Comments

2-2 a fair prediction
worbo
Anyone else think it might get a bit rough out there today? Turns out that even though they are ex rags, Hughes and Bruce don't get on.
Johnny Baguette
I think Bruce has been underestimated as a manager and I thought he was taking a backstep to Wigan, but have been proved to be mistaken, Whelan has an eye for talent, although he did upset a lot of fans by upping the price of the tickets when City visited, because they take a lot of fans to away games. Today we just need to keep it going, Wigan not the best of defenses but have a decent attack. We have not failed to scoire yet, hope thats not a jinx.
Buzz Lightyear
Any dubious refereeing decisions I can see Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes having a ding-dong. Should be great to watch!
Tudor
Whatever happens Tudor, Bruce cant be made any uglier! Interesting to see how Robinho copes with a more physical team this afternoon!
oliverblue
Today is the big acid test for our new team to see just how far they have come. If we can't beat the likes of Wigan then we can forget all about a top six finish. I fully expect a Pompey type performance that will see us lay the pie eaters ghost once and for all and see us chllenging for a top four place.
alphieblues
Absolutely, Alph. a real est of character today. 4000+ Blues are in Wigan.
Johnny Baguette
4000 plus Blues in Wigan - happy days or what?
Tudor
Meanwile, Spuds crashing in flames again, this time at Pompey. Where are all those gloaters who were on here relentlessly about Corluka? his best friend Modric who they said would dominate the PL can't even get off the bench!
Johnny Baguette
In response to be last post, Robinho wont cope! Disappointing all round!
oliverblue
I disagree, oliver. He works harder than Modric from what I have seen and will have some great days with City.
Johnny Baguette
 

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