Premier League preview: Norwich City v Wigan Athletic
16:52 09 March 2012
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Team news, the player to watch, battle of the day, referee and betting for the Premier League clash between Norwich City and Wigan Athletic at 4pm on Sunday.
• Norwich City team news
Defenders Marc Tierney (knee) and Dani Ayala (hamstring) are ruled out. Ayala was part of the squad who enjoyed a mini training break in Spain this week, but Paul Lambert confirmed the defender has suffered a minor setback in his rehabilitation. James Vaughan stayed in the UK to step up his fitness from a hamstring problem. Lambert reported no fresh injury concerns following the club’s Premier League defeat at Stoke. Lambert did reveal Steve Morison needed injections in an ankle problem last month. Subs (from): Steer, R Bennett, Barnett, Drury, Crofts, Hoolahan, E Bennett, Morison, Wilbraham.
• Wigan Athletic team news
Wigan midfielder David Jones will be out of action for two weeks with a knee injury. Mike Pollitt is out for four weeks with a shoulder problem. Victor Moses, Mohamed Diame and Hugo Rodallega are pushing for starts after last weekend’s Premier League defeat to Stoke. Subs (from): Kirkland, Stam, Watson, Gomez, Sammon, Crusat, Di Santo.
The Spaniard is no stranger to a relegation battle after guiding the Latics to safety only on the final day of last season with an improbable win at Stoke. Martinez was reportedly the prime target for Aston Villa during the close season, but the former Latics’ midfielder decided to remain at the DW Stadium. Notable spells as a player at Wigan and Swansea, where he embarked on his managerial career. Led the Swans to the League One title in 2008 where he earned plaudits for the style of passing football he cultivated in south Wales. Both Celtic and Wigan asked permission to speak to him regarding managerial vacancies. Opted to accept the opportunity to take over Athletic in the Premier League in 2009.
• One to watch
The Republic of Ireland international midfielder has been a regular starter for the Latics in the Premier League since his initial £1.2m move from Hamilton in 2009. Named Scottish young-player-of-the-year in 2009. The 21-year-old moved south later that year and has now made 66 appearances for Roberto Martinez’s side. Shunned the country of his birth to pledge international allegiance to the Republic. Will hope to be part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s Euro2012 squad this summer.
Kevin Friend (Leicestershire) First trip to Carrow Road this season. Booked five Norwich players in the 3-2 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa in November. Shown 80 yellow and three red cards this season.
Norwich 5/6, Wigan 10/3, draw 5/2. First scorer City: Holt, Morison 9/2, Jackson, Vaughan 6/1, Wilbraham 8/1, Pilkington 9/1.
Wigan: Di Santo, Rodallega 8/1, Beausejour, Moses, Sammon 9/1.
No goalscorer: 12/1.
• Battle of the day
Grant Holt v Gary Caldwell
Holt was outnumbered against Stoke’s musuclar backline at the Britannia but the skipper underlined his ability to mix it in exalted company at Carrow Road last time out with an exquisite half-volley against Manchester United. Caldwell is an experienced Scottish international. Spent four seasons at Celtic. The Latics’ captain is an inspirational leader who will relish the challenge presented by his counterpart.