Friday, 10 May 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Wigan Athletic

City head to London in hope of second FA Cup in three years

By Aaron Leggott

Any other year, the FA Cup Final would be the main focus through all media organisations as the world's oldest cup competition reaches it's finale at Wembley - but this year is different.

Of course, the news of Alex Ferguson retiring as manager of Manchester United has led headlines, but this game could prove pivotal in the future of Roberto Mancini as his team get ready to face Wigan in the final. 

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On paper, this is a complete mis-match as relegation favourites Wigan face an uphill task if they want to win the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Their rise from non-league football in 1978 has been admirable, and it is a great occasion for fans who have been Latics fans since the beginning. 
The two sides only faced each other last month as City narrowly beat Wigan 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium - but a repeat performance in the national stadium could prove fatal for the Blues. 

Wigan proved that they can cause City problems and it is crucial to ensure we keep the pressure on their back four as much as possible. 

Mancini has declared that he has a fully fit team to choose from, whilst Roberto Martinez is sweating on the fitness of centre half Antolin Alcaraz - who could prove to be a massive loss for the Latics if he misses out through injury again.

Wigan's desperation to play Premier League football might play in City's favour on Saturday - but there is no guarantee of a win and the players need to be at their best if they want to be lifting that trophy at 7pm on Saturday evening.

My thoughts

With over 60,000 City fans expected to flock to the capital tomorrow - we are set to record the biggest attendance by one set of fans in the new Wembley, and it couldn't be more fitting that it will be exactly 10 years since leaving Maine Road.

And who would have thought we'd be in a great position to win our second FA Cup in three years when losing to Southampton on that day?

There has been plenty of misery in the past decade; West Ham and Blackburn in FA Cup quarter finals, losing out to Tottenham on the last Champions League spot and many more moments have made being a City fan hard to take sometimes.

But Sheikh Mansour's takeover in 2008 completely revolutionised the club, and this great historical club has finally found it's way out of the doldrums to reclaim their place amongst Europe's elite.

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And in reality, tomorrow should be the fourth trophy (including the Community Shield) of the Sheikh Mansour era and in hindsight - we deserve it. Our performance in the competition has been formidable and I am glad to see Costel Pantilimon get a chance to prove his quality, even if he is to depart in the summer.

Of course, Wigan will provide a threat as proven in the league encounters this season, but I just think we will have too much for them if we really want this. 

Prediction: City 2 - 0 Wigan 

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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