WIGAN (Sporting Alert) Leaders Manchester United will look to start the New Year on a winning note in the English Premier League fixture with Wigan at DW Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Man United holds a seven point advantage heading into the competition and are being back to take another win and maintain the lead over Manchester City and Chelsea, who are confidently breathing down their back.
“It is good to have this [seven point] advantage,” captain Nemanja Vidic said on www.manutd.com.
“But we have to be careful. There is still a long way to go. We have the experience of last year when we were eight points in front and in the end it didn’t finish well.
Also down for Tuesday are: West Brom v Fulham, Southampton v Arsenal, West Ham vs Norwich, Swansea vs Aston Villa, Tottenham vs Reading and Manchester City v Stoke.
Sir Alex Ferguson could have defender Rafael back for the game after the Brazilian missed the last four-games because of a hamstring injury.
Ferguson will also name another strong starting team, with the likes of Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez both coming back after starting on the bench in the win over West Bromwich.
Paul Scholes could start in midfield for Michael Carrick, who according to the manager, needs some freshening up after looking tired after Saturday’s 2-0 win.
Wayne Rooney, Nani and Anderson continue to be out, but defender Phil Jones could be available for the contest.
Japan international Shinji Kagawa, who returned from injury to start the last game, could also keep his place.
Wigan, in the meantime, will be without several players, including Albert Crusat (knee), Ben Watson (broken leg) and Ryo Miyaichi (ankle).
NOTE: If you’re a betting person then a Man Utd bet wouldn’t be so bad, as Wigan have been defeated in 14 of their 15 Premier League meetings with the leaders, although Roberto Martinez side picked up a stunning upset 1-0 win in this fixture 1-0 last season. Manchester United have picked up maximum three points in 19 of their last 22 Premier League games played in January.
Event: Premier League
Place: DW Stadium
Date: January 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM ET
Live TV: Fox Soccer Channel
PREDICTION: Manchester United 3, Wigan 0
Manchester United vs Wigan Teams
Wigan squad: Al Habsi, Pollitt, Boyce, Caldwell, Ramis, Figueroa, Beausejour, Jones, Maloney, McCarthy, McArthur, Stam, McManaman, Di Santo, Boselli, Kone, Fyvie, Redmond, Mustoe, Orsula, Morris.
Manchester United squad: Lindegaard, De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Wootton, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes, Tunnicliffe, Carrick, Kagawa, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck, Van Persie.