Date:Saturday September 10 2011
City face the task of dispatching a resolute Wigan side at the Etihad Stadium.
While the Citizens have strengthened immensely over the summer, the Lactics have arguably lost their best player in N'Zogbia.
This should have been a routine mauling for City but the high profile departure of Garry Cook means that all eyes are again on City. The added pressure makes this game one to watch.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez concedes that his team has a tough challenge ahead of them at the Etihad Stadium, stating: 'I think it is fair to say Manchester City, since they won the FA Cup, have gone into a different status.
'They will be expected to have another fantastic season, but for us we are expecting to have another fantastic season.
'Our aims are completely different but I am extremely proud of the achievements of Wigan Athletic. The excitement is to try to improve on that over the next 10 months.
'They were a really solid side, very good in not conceding goals. Now all of a sudden they have gone a stage further, and they added a lot of firepower up front. They are a very well-balanced team.
'It is not easy to get all that money and make it work but I think Roberto has managed it really well.
'He has a winning team ready to win major trophies and make history.
'We need to be ready for them, if we are perfect we can be competitive on the day and that is a really exciting challenge. I think we are ready to hit those levels.
'I am really pleased with the way we have started this season, probably with the same intensity and competitive edge we finished the last campaign. That has been really important but it is very early days in the season.
We have to work very hard on certain aspects to improve but the early signs have been really encouraging.
'Now we have got the three new faces, they have really brought something different to the squad.
'We are really excited about the whole month ahead, which is going to be really demanding. We need to be ready for it.'
In the wake of Garry Cook's resignation from Manchester City, Roberto Mancini will be thankful of no further bad news.
Samir Nasri, injured with France, is expected to be well enough to play after suffering a broken finger, although Gareth Barry and Micah Richards could miss out with minor niggles.
With De Jong possibly being reinstated back into the side and Gareth Barry a doubt, Yaya Toure will be the man to take control of midfield.
While the giant Ivorian may not have the silky skills of David Silva or Samir Nasri, he is a crucial component in linking defence with attack.
Wigan's three new summer signings, Shaun Maloney, Albert Crusat and Patrick van Aanhold could make their debuts, while Steven Gohouri and Antolin Alcaraz will miss out due to injury.
In line for a possible start, the Scottsman poses a credible threat to City's defence. Although the £850,000 signing may not be as expensive or glamorous as Manchester City's recent acquisitions, make no mistake, the former SPFA Players' Player of the Year could have a few suprises up his sleeve.
No Wigan player in the current squad has ever recorded a goal against Manchester City.
Although the pressure if firmly on City, I believe that the Blues have enough quality about them to meet expectations and come away with a win. 2-0 to City is perhaps flattering to Wigan, but don't underestimate any opposition in the Premier League.
At 19:45 on Wednesday 14th September at home to Napoli in the UEFA Champions League.
Date:Saturday September 10 2011
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|1. Man City||13||9||3||1||+17||30|
|6. Man Utd||12||5||4||3||+3||19|
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