Man City vs. Wigan preview: Man City £354,000,000 – Wigan Athletic £26,500,000

A decent return of five points from three tricky opening fixtures, a positive defensive record of only one goal received, and a very successful transfer window have given Latics fans a lot of hope for the season. Unfortunately, the two trips no one wants at the moment are to the Manchester stadiums, and Eastlands is next for Roberto’s men. Manchester City’s last outing saw them humiliate Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane, in what must be the London club’s heaviest home defeat in its Premier League history. New signings Aguero and Nasri appear to have turned City into genuine title-contenders — their squad is frightening, and on paper probably as strong as any other in the league. In transfer outlays, it’s probably twice as strong as the next closest.

I’m tempted to say there is nothing to lose in this one. No one expects Wigan to get a point, nevermind three. But as we learnt away to United last year, red cards to key players and high scoring losses are both things that can haunt you for the rest of the season.

The hope is that Steve Gohouri will have recovered from his groin strain to replace the uncomfortable Adrian Lopez in the centre of defense. I can’t see Lopez keeping Dzeko, Aguero, Tevez, Silva and company (not Vincent) quiet all game. There again, it’s hard to picture many centre-backs doing that, and perhaps Lopez will be more comfortable marshalling more cultured strikers than he was with the two big battering rams he’s faced so far, Grant Holt and Patrick Agyemang. Fingers crossed, but if Martinez made such a huge gamble on Alcaraz’s fitness against Swansea, he can’t have that much faith in his younger compatriot.

We’ll also be hoping Victor Moses and James McCarthy have recovered from their knocks and strains to be at their best. Judging by Roberto’s comments about the new trio, and in particular Shaun Maloney, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him play some sort of role in this match. Probably best to wait for a lighter match to give Crusat his debut, and certainly no need to blood the Chelsea youngster Van Aanholt as long as Figueroa is fit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wigan start with the same eleven as against QPR (minus Gohouri, if fit), but add Maloney for Gomez or Di Santo in the second half.

The optimist in me says City will grossly underestimate us and we can go one better on last year’s excellent performance, to snatch a point. The realist says City are just too strong and the best we can hope for is a good defensive effort to keep the score low and morale high. Either way, a look at the arithmetic below makes it all feel better.

Manchester City (transfer fees, in British pounds) total, before wages, sign-on bonuses, etc:  354 million pounds

Hart: 1.5 million
Zabaleta: 6.5 million
Kompany: 6 million
Lescott: 22 million
Clichy: 7 million
Toure Yaya: 24 million
Barry: 12 million
Silva:  25 million
Nasri: 25 million
Agüero: 35 million
Dzeko: 27 million

Subs:
Pantilimon: on loan
Richards: product of youth system
Milner: 26 million
Johnson: 7 million
Savic: 6 million
Tevez: 40 million
Balotelli: 24 million

Not used:
Kolo Toure: 16 million
Bridge: 10 million
De Jong: 18 million
Kolarov: 16 million

Wigan Athletic (transfer fees, in British pounds) total, before wages, sign-on bonuses, etc:  26.5 million pounds.

Al-Habsi: 4 million
Boyce: 1 million
Caldwell: 0.5 million
Lopez: free agent
Figueroa: undisclosed, but thought to be less than 1 million
Watson: 2 million
Diame: 3 million
Jordi Gomez: 1.7 million
Moses: 2.5 million
Rodallega: 4.5 million
Di Santo: 2 million

Subs:
Kirkland: undisclosed, possibly free
Stam; 2million
McArthur: 0.5 million
Thomas: undisclosed, estimated at 1 million
Jones: free
McCarthy: 1.2 million
Sammon: 0.6 million

Not Used:
Alcaraz: free, out of contract
Gohouri: free, out of contract
McManaman, product of youth system

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: Man City 3 Wigan 0: Thumped without a whimper | Los Three Amigos: A Wigan Athletic Site

  2. Pingback: Aston Villa 2 Wigan Athletic 0: Punchless Latics suffer fifth consecutive defeat | Los Three Amigos: A Wigan Athletic Site

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