Aston Villa vs Wigan

September 30, 2011
By: John Hansen

Aston Villa are looking for only their second win of the season, having recorded four straight draws and it is highly unlikely that the Villans will get a better opportunity to record a home win than this one. Wigan are in big problems after losing last four games in all competitions and they clearly face an uphill task at Villa Park.

Great news for McLeish

In the air of uncertainty that surrounded the club last season, Aston Villa couldn’t do much better than a mid table finish, but things have changed considerably since, which is why the fans feel very optimistic at the moment. The arrival of Alex McLeish helped bring some stability to the club, while the experienced manager also managed to revive players like Stephen Warnock, Alan Hutton, Fabian Delph and Gabriel Agbonlahor. As a result, Villa have played some great football at the start of the season and they are still unbeaten after six Premiership rounds. The Villans certainly deserved to win more than just one game in the first six rounds, having had the lead against Newcastle and QPR, but the team are, nevertheless, in good spirits at the moment and very determined to finally return to winning ways. Alex McLeish has been handed a major boost as several important players are back to contention, so Villa look like a good bet against struggling Wigan.

Darren Bent and Emile Heskey are available again after recovering from injury, whereas Jermaine Jenas is in line for his debut. James Collins is expected to recover from an ankle problem in time to start this match, but Eric Lichaj, Chris Herd and Carlos Cuellar are not yet ready to feature.

Four-match losing run

Wigan were always going to have problems this season after staying without key midfielders Charles N’Zogbia and Tom Cleverley, especially as boss Roberto Martinez failed to address the burning issue that is the lack of experience in the squad. The Latics boast several very talented footballers in Ben Watson, Victor Moses, Jamie McCarthy and Franco Di Santo, but the lack of experience at the highest level is proving to be a real problem. To add insult to injury, key players Antolin Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega picked up serious injuries, and with such a small squad to choose from, it is no wonder Roberto Martinez has experienced big problems of late. The players are completely out of confidence after losing last four games in all competitions, and they look really short on quality needed to get something from Villa Park.

In addition to Rodallega and Alcaraz, Martinez will be without Steve Gohouri, who is suspended, whereas key defender Emerson Boyce is a major doubt with hamstring injury.


Aston Villa have been playing really well of late and with several key players back to the side, they look ready to record the second victory of the season. Wigan are all over the place at the moment and are missing four first team regulars, so I really cannot see how they are going to avoid defeat at Villa Park.

Our prediction: Aston Villa with -0.75 Asian handicap

Odds: 1.82 (41/50)

Bookmaker: Ladbrokes

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