Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Wigan

City seek revenge in Capital One Cup tie

By Rebecca Halliwell

Following an eye popping performance from City in the derby comes another Greater Manchester derby against Wigan in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening.

Last season saw a City team sprinkled with youngsters in the midfield and they were ultimately beaten 4-2 by Aston Villa in the second round of the Capital One Cup. Manuel Pellegrini has already stated that he will set out to win trophies in all competitions that his side enters. It will therefore be of great interest what team he selects for the clash.

City had developed a good record against Wigan under Roberto Mancini but the performances in the last two clashes; one in the league at the Etihad and the 2013 FA Cup Final, were well below expectations.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Since the FA Cup final, Wigan have been relegated to the Sky Bet Championship where they have had mixed form so far this season, securing only 11 points from seven games. They come to the Etihad on the back of a creditable away draw in the Europa League against ZV Zulte Waregem of Belgium and a morale boosting win against Ipswich at home in the Championship. Wigan also lost their popular cup winning manager, Roberto Martinez, to Everton in the summer managerial merry-go-round.

City’s mixed early season form has transformed in the last two games, following the return to the side of inspirational captain Vincent Kompany.  A confident opening to the Champions League against Czech champions Viktoria Plzen with three goals and a clean sheet was followed by Sunday’s derby where last season’s Premier League champions were simply blown away in a 4-1 thrashing.

Wigan’s summer transfer business saw 11 players signed and 18 sold or released. Long terms servants such as Antolín Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa, and Franco Di Santo moved on and the likes of Scott Carson, Grant Holt and Marc-Antoine Fortuné, with Premier League experience, moved in. Calum McManaman, who tormented Gaël Clichy at Wembley, remains at Wigan and will relish the opportunity to repeat his strong showing.

City had a much more measured approach to transfer business and three of the four signing featured heavily in the derby success.

Below you can see a video of our last meeting with Owen Coyle's Wigan.

My thoughts

It really depends what side both managers put out.  Wigan’s priority is to try to return to the Premier League as quickly as possible and already have the distraction of the Europa League to contend with, something none of their promotion rivals have to worry about. This tie will be their third game in six days. Owen Coyle may opt to field a weakened team.  Also, with such a change in playing staff over the summer they may need more time to gel together.

Grant Holt, Gary Caldwell, Ivan Ramis and Ali Al Habsi remain out for the Latics. Pellegrini is likely to field a much changed side from the Derby team but his claim to have two quality players for every position means he could still field an experienced team without the need to blood youngsters. This did not work as well against Stoke in the league but Wigan are not - on paper at least - as accomplished as the new Mark Hughes led Stoke team.

However, the remit of developing a holistic approach may lead Pellegrini to bring in some of the promising youngsters, with a couple of big guns on the bench if things are not going to plan.

Jack Rodwell is a doubt and both Gaël Clichy and David Silva are unlikely to be risked whilst Micah Richards is in line for his first competitive game of the season. I predict City to win 2-0 but I was confident back in May, and look what happened then!

Prediction:  City 2 - 0 Wigan

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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