Bolton sit in the bottom half of the Premier League table. After such an impressive start to this season and spirits riding high, 11th place just feels so... wrong. Such a difference from this point last year where we would have killed for this position.
The last match against Wigan was a dreary, frankly pathetic affair on January 5th. Just to remind you all of what happened that match, Rodrigo scored a quality goal from a tight angle before Ronnie Stam equalized in the 80th for Wigan. I hate Wigan.
The lads have already played both the home and away Premier League fixtures with Wigan this season however, we’ll welcome the Latics to the Reebok this time around for the FA Cup. Let’s be honest: we need this. The Wanderers have dropped 14 points in their last 5 league matches after a season that started so brightly. Clearly, the Whites are hurting without the width of Lee Chung-Yong in the midfield.
The weekend’s only injury doubt (apart from the likes of Samuel, Gardner, O’Brien, and Davis who have been missing forever) is Ivan Klasnic, still struggling to recover from a groin injury. Chungy is still out on his Qatari vacation at the Asian Cup. Ali Al-Habsi is cup-tied so he will be out for the match, forcing Kirkland or Pollitt to step into Wigan's goal.
A result in this derby match would be huge as it would not only see Bolton through to the fifth round of the FA Cup but would serve as a huge morale boost to hopefully get them back on the right path in the Premier League. Let’s just forgot about the Chelsea match. That was a stumbling block. Everyone seemed to have lost their way.
Just some numbers courtesy of the BWFC website:
- The two sides have met 33 times in their respective histories, but this is the first cup clash between the two.
- Neither side have won a league game in the 2011 year.
- Wigan haven't recorded an away victory over Wanderers since 2008.
- It was just 24 days ago when the two sides met at the Reebok Stadium in a game that ended 1-1 after Ronnie Stam equalised Rodrigo's opener.
- Wigan have won just twice away from the DW stadium this season.