No time to mope: Villa preview

What's Bob gonna do? Is the Moses plan out the window?

You might still be getting over Saturday’s dismal day at the Reebok Stadium this afternoon, but it’s time to put that to the back of your mind because there’s the chance for Latics to erase that memory with a good show tomorrow evening. Precedent suggests the ‘one good game, one bad game’ pattern has returned and this one should fall in our favour.

Those who don’t subscribe to kooky numerologist pap (read: everyone but Derren Brown) will be more realistic. Of course, there is the opportunity to complete a rare double over a top-half team, and at the DW Stadium a result is eminently possible – one need simply look to last Monday evening for evidence of that.

Most, however, prefer to take a cautiously pessimistic approach into Tuesday’s showdown, which will no doubt be a far tougher test of the Latics’ mettle. Three points will obviously be the target, but after Saturday’s ‘performance’ not many will hold out hope.

Gary Caldwell in particular will be kicking himself as, in two moments of madness, he saw Wigan’s hopes of grabbing some points fritter away into the warm(ish) late winter air. Charles N’Zogbia might also be reminiscing upon what might have been had he managed to beat Jaaskelainen from close range late in the first half.

The players have go to try and forget those ‘what could have been’ moments, however, and put themselves in a positive frame of mind. Think back just one week to the Monday’s memorable scenes at the DW and almost forget Saturday ever happened. In fact I’m already in the process of wiping my memory of the weekend via (entirely legal) intoxicants. Perhaps.

Nah, if I were drunk right now I probably wouldn’t even be able to string a sentence together, much like some of those forum posts at a certain Latics fansite which will remain nameless. Wigan’s season is enough to drive you to the juice however, being as it has consistent only in its inconsistency. Ooh, there’s a mainstream media term if ever I heard one. Scrub that comment, for this blog has no plans to become another by-the-numbers, cliché-peddling, top-four loving twaddlefest (anyone spotted the underlying irony here yet?).

The Premier League fanaticists will have noted that Aston Villa are on some sort of superhuman run of form right now, putting them in an excellent position to challenge for a Champions League spot with just nine games left to play. It’s Wigan’s job to firmly assert that ‘bogey team’ label which is quickly gaining some sort of momentum amongst the Villains’ faithful (maybe) and consign them to defeat for the first time in 2010.

An easy task? Not on your nelly. But Stoke’s goalless draw with Villa on Saturday proves it is possible to grind out the results should the correct attitude and tactics be adopted. What are they gonna be? Well I’ll bet Martinez will go back to Marcelo Moreno up front with Hugo Rodallega, with the team lineup more closely mirroring Monday than Saturday. Your guess is as good as mine, though, with Martinez looking to shake things up a bit… or not, as the case may well be.

In short, expect much unpredictability, including the unexpected.

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