Wigan Athletic vs. Manchester City Preview

Barclays Premier League

Football
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Published: 08/01/2012

Manchester City will be seeking to at the very least consolidate their three point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League when they visit Wigan Athletic at the end of the weekís fixtures on January 16.

Roberto Manciniís trailblazers had a far from perfect Christmas after suffering defeats to Chelsea and Sunderland, however they put themselves firmly back in the driving seat with a crushing 3-0 New Yearís victory at home to Liverpool.

That success, coupled with back to back defeats endured by Manchester United, ensured that City head into this round of games with clear daylight separating themselves and the rest of the division.

The club will be hoping that their fierce rivals United hit another speed bump over the weekend and should that occur, City could well go into this fixture knowing that victory potentially opens a five or six point buffer over the Red Devils and an even bigger advantage over Harry Redknappís impressive Tottenham Hotspur.

With the F.A Cup taking centre stage in the week prior to this round of games, Manchester City could not have wished for an easier fixture to pick things up from where they left off.

Roberto Martinezí Wigan side are jammed firmly in the Premier League relegation places and that comes as no surprise after managing only one home win all season.

Four draws and five defeats at the DW Stadium have seen Wigan ship twenty goals and counting in front of their home supporters and few would back against Manchester City adding further to that tally.

With an average of 2.5 goals per game scored on the road, Roberto Manciniís men unquestionably possess the fiercest attack in the Premier League by quite some distance and it is hard to envisage Wiganís leaky defence preventing the likes of Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli from running riot in front of the live TV cameras.

Although City turned in a well below par effort during their last away league fixture at Sunderland, their response against Liverpool was that of a potential title winning club and they are readily fancied to continue that momentum in this fixture.

Roberto Martinez continues to reap the plaudits for being one of the brightest young managers around however he must now show his true worth if he is to prevent Wigan from slipping out of the English top flight.

In truth, the Spaniard will probably not be targeting games such as this and is likely to focus his and his squadís efforts on more realistic, achievable battles.

Wigan did however manage to hold Chelsea over the Christmas period and have perhaps been underestimated when the pressure is clearly off.

Nevertheless, even taking this notion into account, anything other than a comfortable City win would be a major shock and they are probably a decent coupon price at 2/5 to end punters weekends on a high.

It would be difficult as ever to put a clear marker on a correct score, but the goals should be flowing, at least for the away side, and even money for a -1 success should probably be snapped up if available.


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