Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Wigan

Theo Squires
December 28, 2012
Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Wigan


Lowton, Clark, Herd, Bennett
Albrighton, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Bannan


Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa,
Stam, Jones, McCarthur, Beausejour
Kone, Di Santo

After his club suffered heavy defeats in its last two games, Paul Lambert is expected to rotate his defense heading into Saturday's clash with Wigan, with a late decision to be made on whether captain Ron Vlaar (calf) can return to first-team action, having missed the last seven matches through injury.

Charlez N'Zogbia (knee) is unlikely to feature against his former club, while Gabriel Agbonlahor (hip), Andreas Weimann (calf) and Nathan Baker (hamstring) are all doubts and Fabian Delph is suspended.

Darren Bent (hamstring), Richard Dunne (groin), Gary Gardner (knee) and Stiliyan Petrov (leukemia) all remain long-term absentees for the Villans.

Wigan is hopeful that Antolin Alcaraz (groin) can return to action against Villa, but Adrian Lopez (hamstring) is still absent. Gary Caldwell and Ivan Ramis are both available again after making the squad against Everton but James McCarthy (ankle) misses out through injury.

Ryo Miyaichi (ankle), Albert Crusat (knee) and Ben Watson (shin) all remain unavailable to Roberto Martinez.

  • Aston Villa's 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Villa Park last season was its first-ever Premier League home win over the Latics.
  • The 12 goals Paul Lambert's side have leaked in their last two league matches is just one less than it had conceded in its previous 12 games prior to last week's 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea.
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored five goals in his last 10 games against the Latics.
  • Villa is the least-prolific scoring side in the Premier League, netting only 15 goals this season.
  • Wigan Athletic has not beaten Aston Villa since August 2009, when goals from Hugo Rodallega and Jason Koumas saw the Latics return home from Villa Park 2-0 victors.
  • In its first season in the Premier League, Wigan secured a league double over Aston Villa back in 2005-06. Neither side has achieved the feat since.
  • Along with fourth-placed Tottenham, Roberto Martinez's side is the only team not to have drawn a league game away from home this season. From their travels so far this year the Latics have won twice and lost seven.
  • Current Villa player Charles N'Zogbia (pictured) was the last Wigan player to score in this fixture.
  • Roberto Martinez turned down the chance to become Aston Villa manager in the summer of 2011.
  • Referee Kevin Friend took charge of this fixture at the DW season in February last season. The match finished 0-0, with Friend handing out five yellow cards, all to Aston Villa players.