Wigan v Aston Villa

Last updated : 17 December 2010 By BBC Sport

On-loan Wigan midfielder Tom Cleverley could be available after discovering he did not crack a rib in a clash with Everton's Marouane Fellaini.

Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa are suspended, while Franco Di Santo will again be absent with an ankle injury.


Suspended: Thomas & Figueroa (one match)

Doubtful: Cleverley (bruised ribs)

Injured: Boyce (hamstring), Di Santo & McCarthy (both ankle), Moses (shoulder)

Aston Villa

Doubtful: A Young (ankle), L Young (groin)

Injured: Delph & Petrov (both knee), Sidwell (Achilles), Weimann (ankle)


Premier League strugglers Wigan and Aston Villa meet at the DW Stadium on Saturday with both clubs in desperate need of some Christmas cheer.

My job is to take decisions, no? I'm not here to please the players, I'm here to please the fans and the club. Listen, this is a team thing. I mean, we are not playing tennis

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier

Villa go into the game just four points above the drop zone following a winter of discontent in the Midlands, with rumours of player unrest and training ground bust-ups refusing to go away.

Manager Gerard Houllier's popularity appears to have plummeted faster than the temperatures, and the Frenchman attempted to reassert his authority at the club this week by dumping several stars in the reserves, including Stephen Ireland, John Carew, Richard Dunne and Habib Beye.

The gloom hanging over Villa Park was briefly lifted by last weekend's much-needed victory over derby rivals West Bromwich Albion, but any feel-good factor is likely to be quickly forgotten if they leave the DW Stadium empty-handed.

Wigan, meanwhile, have coughed and spluttered their way through the early winter, with Roberto Martinez unable to find a remedy for their relegation woes. The Premier League's lowest scorers have managed just three wins in four months and appear destined for another long hard slog if they are to survive a sixth successive campaign in the top flight.



• This is only the 14th meeting between these sides in all competitions. Aston Villa have won six, Wigan four and there have been three draws.

• Only one of the 10 Premier League games between Villa and Wigan has ended as a home win, and none of the last eight.

• Villa have won their last three away games against Wigan.

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• The Latics have won just one of their last 10 league matches - that was their 1-0 victory at home to West Brom on 13 November.

• They are unbeaten in five at the DW Stadium.

• If Wigan lose, it would be their 100th Premier League defeat.

Aston Villa

• Last weekend's 2-1 victory over West Brom was only their second win in 11 league matches (W2, D4, L5).

• Villa have lost all five matches in which they conceded the opening goal.

• Gerard Houllier's side have won just one of their eight away trips in the league this season, and lost six. They have failed to score in three of their last four league games on the road.

• Aston Villa have conceded 499 goals away from home in the Premier League.



Rodallega: 4 goals (4 league); N'Zogbia: 4 goals (3 league)

Aston Villa

Downing: 6 goals (5 league); Heskey: 5 goals (2 league)


Referee: Jon Moss

Assistant referees: Andy Halliday & Trevor Massey

Fourth official: Howard Webb


Wigan (D0-0 v Everton, a): Al Habsi, Gohouri, Steven Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Thomas (McArthur 64), Diame, N'Zogbia, Watson, Cleverley (Stam 46), Rodallega. Subs not used: Pollitt, Gary Caldwell, Boselli, Gomez, McManaman.

Aston Villa (W2-1 v West Brom, h): Friedel, Lichaj, Cuellar, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton (Herd 90), Hogg, Bannan (Reo-Coker 73), Downing, Ashley Young, Heskey (Delfouneso 83). Subs not used: Guzan, Dunne, Pires, Carew.

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport