Manchester United will aim for their 13th successive victory against Wigan when they travel to the DW Stadium on Saturday.
Since the Latics were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in 2005, the two sides have met on 12 occasions with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men victorious on every occasion.
They have won 11 league meetings and thumped Wigan in the 2006 Carling Cup Final 4-0, having scored 39 goals in the matches including two 5-0 victories last season.
Amazingly, last year’s Premier League runners-up have conceded just four goals to Wigan in those 12 matches and will be keen for another victory to open up a four-point lead on championship rivals Arsenal in the hunt for this season’s title.
With Arsenal not in league action this weekend due to their Carling Cup final meeting with Birmingham on Sunday, the match takes on extra significance and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney admitted Saturday’s fixture is vital.
“There are three massive games for us coming up now, Wigan, Chelsea and Liverpool, and then maybe Arsenal after that in the (FA) Cup,” Rooney said.
“It’s a massive time for us in the season and we’ll have to keep going and trying to create chances in those games. If we can get through those games, with a good amount of points, I’m sure we’ll be up there.”
The visitors are likely to make several changes to their side that drew 0-0 with Marseille in a dull Champions League affair on Wednesday, with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rafael all in contention to return to the first-team.
Rio Ferdinand is still out with a calf injury which he suffered in a shock 2-1 defeat at Wolves, Manchester United’s only league defeat of the season.
Wigan defender Emmerson Boyce revealed that his side were taking inspiration from Wolves’ upset win at Molineux and hopes his side can do the same.
“Games like Manchester United are the games you want to play in and are great occasions to experience,” Boyce said.
“Wolves showed a couple of weeks ago that United can be beaten, and we fancy our chances of doing the same.”
“People probably won’t fancy us to get anything off United, but Wolves picked up a bonus three points and we need to take heart from that. Anything, even a point, would be a massive boost for our survival chances.”
Wigan, who sit 18th in the Premier League and inside the relegation zone, could drop to the bottom of the table if West Ham and Wolverhampton record victories on the weekend.
And with four of their next five fixtures against top-five sides in the Premier League, Roberto Martinez’s side will be desperate to break their losing record against Manchester United and gain at least a point on Saturday.