Venue: DW Stadium
Date: Saturday 2nd February
The big team news for Wigan is the return of cult hero Paul Scharner, the Austrian spent almost five years in the North West before leaving in 2010 but rejoined The Latics this week on loan from Hamburg. He has been brought in as cover for the defence as Wigan are currently without Ivan Ramis and Antolin Alcaraz. Wigan have a colossal injury list that also includes; Adrian Lopez, Mike Pollitt, Ben Watson, Albert Crusat, Ryo Myachi and Fraser Fyvie.
Also unavailable is Arouna Kone who is away at the African Cup of Nations but more positively Emerson Boyce faces a late fitness test and may be available.
Southampton could also hand a recently arrived player a debut. Vegard Forren was signed from Molde in the transfer window and may debut in a leaky Saints’ backline.
The other big boost for the Saints’ is the return of club captain Adam Lalllana. Lallana has been out for over two months but returned from the bench on Wednesday. The only two players out for Southampton are Do Prado and Fonte.
Probably the stand out fixture of Saturday’s 3PM kick off is this huge relegation clash between Wigan and Southampton.
Both teams have hardly had stand out campaign’s to date with Wigan sat 18th on just 20 points while Southampton find themselves 16th on 23 points. This makes Saturday’s clash seem particularly tasty as both teams will be desperate to pick up all three points.
Wigan’s recent form has been worrying, the Latics have just one win in their last ten matches and that came away at an abysmal Aston Villa. Most worrying for them though is the fact they haven’t won at home since the 24th November and with top scorer Kone still at the AFCON they will be anxious to find out where the goals are going to come from to help them out of this one.
Southampton’s season has been overshadowed by the dismissal of Nigel Adkins. Before his sacking The Saints’ were unbeaten in 5 but they have carried on that good form since the appointment of Pochettino with a draw against Everton and a fantastic performance away to Manchester United, in a match they were unfortunate to lose.
With both teams languishing far too close to the bottom of the table, it is vital they pick up three points here. Wigan will probably more desperate for the win given their position down in 18th but with players like Ricky Lambert in the Southampton side it certainly won’t be easy for them.
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This article was first posted on February 2, 2013