Preview: Wigan Athletic v Manchester City

City head to Wigan buoyed by Europa League victory after two disappointing Premier League results. Apparently we have won just two of our last nine Premier League matches. Our first league victory away to Wigan is a must if we’re to get back amongst the Champions League places.

Roberto Mancini faces an intriguing selection headache following David Silva’s impressive display in midweek. If he starts on Saturday, who would make way from last weekend’s creative players? Both Adam Johnson (our stand out performer thus far) and James Milner were rested on Thursday.

To allow all three of these to play, Mancini must put one of de Jong, Yaya Toure or Gareth Barry on the bench. Jo is likely to step down despite his goalscoring exploits.

It will be interesting to see which strikers are alongside him. Santa Cruz is eligible again, while Adebayor, who would be in contention, wasn’t able to fully participate in training on Friday.

With Michael Johnson back in training and Jerome Boateng nearing full fitness, Mancini will have a few more options in the coming weeks. For now it is about selecting a side capable of scoring sufficient goals to win a premier league match.

Aside from Liverpool our goalscoring is letting us down. Wigan may have beaten Tottenham 1-0, but their defence can be one of the more porous and City’s attacking players could do with a boost in belief.

Yaya Toure:

“It is not easy playing a league game straight after a European match, but these are the games we need to win. Manchester City need to finish third or fourth in the table – that is the target. We have to qualify for the Champions League.”

Every year we go to Wigan looking to win, and come back disappointed. Hopefully the new solidity provided by Mancini will see us triumph at last.

Blue Days line up (4-2-3-1):
Richards – K Toure – Kompany – Bridge
de Jong – Barry
A Johnson – Milner – Silva

Prediction: 3-0 to City.

Europa League verdict: Red Bull Salzburg 0 Manchester City 2
Player ratings: Wigan Athletic v Manchester City

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