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Manchester City vs. Wigan Athletic

The City Of Manchester Stadium

Saturday 17th January 2009

3pm

MCFC v Wigan

Manchester City's mega-bid for AC Milan's football maestro Kaka is reported to be in excess of £100m and has dominated world news this week.

The Wigan game is a potential banana skin and a must win if we are to have any hope of swaying him or challenging for Europe.

Vital Quotes:

Hughes gave a positive review of Wigan stating: 'Wigan are doing well, they are a wholehearted and committed side who work hard for each other.

'They are a good solid side and if they continue in the same manner as the past few months, they will have aspirations of Europe.

'I am sure Steve Bruce will not really want to talk about that but it may well be possible for them.'

Steve Bruce said of his side: 'It was an unbelievable effort at Old Trafford, and I hope we have something left - because there were a lot of tired bodies after the game.

'I want us to have a good crack at City - they have not had the best of runs in recent weeks.

'But we know they can hurt teams, so it is important we defend properly.'

Manchester City Team News:

After the degrading FA Cup upset at home to Nottingham Forest, news of Kaka will have certainly changed the dressing room atmosphere.

Dietmar Hamann is sidelined with a toe injury after being ruled out for at least three months while diminutive winger Shaun Wright-Phillips is still recoveing from a hamstring strain and will face a late fitness test. Thomas Cook Player of the Month for November - Stephen Ireland, is banned for picking up 5 yellow cards but City's record breaking summer signing Robinho is back in the squad after his thigh injury.

Wayne Bridge will start his first game as a Manchester City player after the Portsmouth game was cancelled last week.

Player to watch: Robinho

Wayne Bridge will be out to prove to everyone that he is still a quality player but after news of a bid for friend and Brazil compatriot Kaka, I can see Robinho running the show against Wigan.

Wigan Athletic Team News:

Unlike Manchester City, Wigan has no new injury problems.

Fatigue will be Wigan's main problem to overcome, the grueling midweek game at Old Trafford will surely take its toll.

Player to watch: Wilson Palacios

Wigan have some good players in their team, most notably Zaki, Valencia, Heskey and midfield power-house Palacios who has been the subject of a bid from Redknapp's Tottenham.

Match Facts & Stats

This will be the eighth time that Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce have faced each other as managers. Both have won three games and one was drawn.

This is also the eighth time Wigan and Manchester City have faced each other in the Premier League but the results are much less balanced as Wigan are yet to lose.

Ref Watch:

Lee Mason takes the responsibility of referee for this clash. In nine Premier League games he has issued 2 red cards and 32 yellows, three of those being against Manchester City in the loss against Middlesbrough.

Match Prediction:

This game is a tough one to call. Wigan are playing exceptionally well and have nothing to lose against a City side who has... Lets say Kaka and a European place to lose. If the Manchester boys are as excited as we fans are about the goings on in the transfer market, I predict an inspired performance which will turn over a hard working Wigan team. MCFC 2 - 0 Wigan.

Next Fixtures:

Newcastle at home on Wednesday 28th January with a 7.45pm kick off.




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The journalist

Writer: Lincolnsmariner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 16 2009

Time: 8:12PM

Your Comments

Wigan fan in peace. City, with all respect, are not too good at home - they're inconsistent. Draw for me. 1-1. Robinho and Palacios. You can just see it happening.
robin
Hey Robin anyone coming in peace is welcome .... but I think we can sneek this 1-0
Doody
Hope Wigan accepts the bid tonight for Palacios that will ensure he doesn't play tomorrow.
alphieblues
Doubt whether they will play him Alphie for fear of getting injured and losing out on a pot of money.
Buzz Lightyear
I hope they dont play Palacios, the transfer is imminent apparently. Maybe he will play as a farewell to the fans though. I dont think City would want to embarass themselves again infront of the home crowd. We have had a week off so we should be fresh and ready for them... Fingers crossed we dont slip on the banana skin!
eighthsin
Can see us doing you 1-2 with a Zaki double
worbo
We must make the first win over Wigan in the Premier League.
city 81
Worbo, We are not afraid from Zaki, We fraid from Dunne :)
city 81
We never beat Wigan - sigh! We really need Kaka for this one!!! Looks like we could get De Jong, will be good next to Kompany. No Vassell in squad please.
romancity
I just hope that SWP is fit and that will give us more balance. The loss of Stephen Ireland is a blow, but Elano can show us why he should get a regular start.
Buzz Lightyear
Have City made a bid for palacios? http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/city-join-palacios-chase-14144331.html
Buzz Lightyear
Can't afford to rush SWP back. I've got a horrible feeling that if we don't pass and move quickly without SWP and Ireland this will become a "workmanlike" match. Not much Robbie can do alone in the creativity department.
Johnny Baguette
SWP to take late fitness test.
Johnny Baguette
Newsflash.....!!!.....there has been a ban on the sale of Banana's in and around the ground ahead of todays game......!!
lincolnblue
Whats that suppose to mean lincolnblue?
enzo city
Lol lincolnblue - I reckon our inflatable banana antics at cup games is the reason why we always slip up!
eighthsin
LB can we also ban balloons?
Buzz Lightyear
Good game good win, Stephen Ireland back and will Kaka be in a blue Shirt?
Buzz Lightyear
Lets hope this win is the start of a new era. Enough of the false dawns...
eighthsin
 

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