Premier League preview: Manchester City v Wigan

Wigan have been forced to regroup after their 4-0 home loss to league leaders Manchester United left them bottom of the table.

The Latics travel to Eastlands on Saturday knowing they are at the centre of a desperate battle to avoid relegation.

Manager Roberto Martinez is also well aware that City present as big a threat as their cross-town rivals when it comes to strike power.

Martinez is keen for his players to maintain their challenge against City, something he believes they did not do at the DW Stadium against Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.

“We were a real threat in the first half against United,” he said.

“That is backed up by the amount of possession we had and the amount of corners we won.”

“Our play was good but when you are playing against a team like United it is so important to convert any chance into a goal. It’s just unfortunate we could not do that.”

“United then scored a second goal and I felt we dropped our intensity.”

“As a result of this, we ended up being heavily punished.”

Wigan, who have won just twice away from home in the league this season, clearly have a battle on their hands to preserve their top-flight status with next month certain to be crucial.

Latics will play three successive away games, including a six-pointer against fellow strugglers Blackpool.

Home advantage for the Seasiders could be crucial – Latics’ trip to Blackpool is sandwiched in between equally tough trips to firstly Chelsea and then Sunderland.

City, meanwhile, may be excused for having one eye on their Europa League last-16 tie against Dynamo Kiev in the Ukraine next week and their FA Cup fifth round clash against Reading on Sunday week.

Roberto Mancini’s men are third on the table, having won eight times at home in the league this season.

Mancini was disappointed with his side’s display against Fulham last weekend as both the teams shared the points.

Mario Balotelli scored his ninth goal of the season but the hosts struggled to stamp their authority on the game, allowing Fulham to equalise through Damien Duff to go home with a well deserved point.

Mancini criticised his strike force with Balotelli, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzkeo all coming under fire for a below par performance.

The City manager , who has reiterated his desire to end 35 years of hurt and deliver a trophy to the club, is expected to ring in the changes, claiming that he cannot field a three-man attack every game.

Mancini is fully aware of the history of the club and the fact they last won a major trophy on 28th February, 1976 when Newcastle United were defeated 2-1 in the League Cup final.

Article title: Premier League preview: Manchester City v Wigan

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