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Aston Villa vs Wigan Premier League Preview

December 29, 2012


Aston Villa host Wigan Athletic on Saturday in a meeting of two of the most battered and bruised teams in the Premier League right now.

Villa had been on a run of five games unbeaten before last Sunday, but have since gone on to ship 12 goals in two humiliating Christmas demolitions.

Wigan, meanwhile, have free-fallen into the relegation zone in recent weeks after losing five of their last six matches and seven of their last nine. 

Confidence is consequently going to be in short supply at Villa Park, with anxiety present in abundance. 

Priority No.1 for Villa boss Paul Lambert will be stemming the avalanche of goals that his defence conceded in their 8-0 thumping by Chelsea and 4-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. 

Wigan are unlikely to offer the potency of the likes of Fernando Torres and Gareth Bale, but Villa's youthful three-man back line is clearly suffering teething problems that Roberto Martinez will be keen for his side to exploit. 

The Spaniard is not free from defensive trouble himself, though, as he too deploys a back three that has conceded at a rate of 2.1 goals per games over their last nine matches. 

Wigan also need to cure their problem of getting off to bad starts in games, having shipped the first goal in eight of those nine fixtures.



Defender Nathan Baker has been ruled out after he was forced off with a hamstring problem just before half-time in a 4-0 Boxing Day defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur. 

Baker joins captain Ron Vlaar (calf), Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), Charles N'Zogbia (knee), Darren Bent (hamstring), Richard Dunne (groin) and Andreas Weimann (calf) on the sidelines. 

Fabian Delph is also unavailable through suspension.


Antolin Alcaraz (groin) could return for Wigan, but Spaniard Ivan Ramis isn't quite ready for a recall to the starting line-up. 

Adrian Lopez (hamstring) is still absent and James McCarthy misses out with an ankle injury. 

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is also without Ryo Miyaichi (ankle), Albert Crusat (knee) and Ben Watson (shin).


Source: SkySports


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