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Everton V Wigan at Goodison Park : Match Preview

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08 Mar 2013 14:01:25

Everton V Wigan at Goodison Park : Match Preview

Everton V Wigan - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Howard doubt for Toffees

Everton manager David Moyes has not yet made a decision on goalkeeper Tim Howard's fitness for their FA Cup quarter-final at home to Wigan.

The United States international missed last week's win over Reading with a back injury and if he is not passed fit then Jan Mucha will make his first FA Cup appearance for the Toffees.

Centre-back Phil Jagielka is missing after surgery on an ankle injury so John Heitinga is set to deputise.

Everton defender Leighton Baines faces his former club having scored three times - all penalties - in his last eight outings against them and is looking forward to the occasion at Goodison Park.

"Wigan is always going to be special for me," he said.

"Not only did they give me my chance but we had success in that period because we were in League One when I came through and to rise and end up in the Premier League is something I'll always look back on fondly."

While Baines is still waiting for his silverware at Everton since leaving Wigan in 2007, manager David Moyes marks his 11th anniversary at the club next week having not yet managed to break his trophy duck.

"It is the one thing that is missing for him and the club," said Baines.

"The manager has been at the club for a lengthy spell and silverware would cap what has been a good spell for him.

"For the club it has also been too long."

Moyes also believes his side's recent near-misses in the cup have allowed them to become more effective in knockout competition.

"I wouldn't say we are getting a better cup team but I think we are getting a team who are maybe finding a goal to win the games," he said.

"I couldn't turn around and say any of my cup performances have made me go 'wow, that was a great performance' but in a cup competition the most important thing is you get through.

"I think over recent years we have started to get a little bit closer to the final numbers in this competition and we will try to do so again this weekend.

"To get close to these things you have to be in a position to win the games and we have a chance with a home tie, which we have to make the most of."

Wigan have fit-again pair Adrian Lopez and Ryo Miyaichi back available for first-team selection ahead.

Defender Lopez and winger Miyaichi could be involved at Goodison Park after both featured in the Latics' Under-21s fixture against Nottingham Forest earlier this week as they continued their rehabilitation from hamstring and ankle problems respectively.

Manager Roberto Martinez has indicated he may once again give an opportunity to some fringe players - such as striker Callum McManaman and midfielder Fraser Fyvie - who have come into the Wigan team for other cup games this season

Martinez has made it clear that while he is eager to see the team continue to progress in the cup, survival in the league has to be the priority.

And chairman David Whelan, although an FA Cup romantic, takes a similar view.

"I would never, ever want to sacrifice a place in the Premier League," Whelan said.

"Whatever we say, the Premier League is the biggest league in the whole world."

Spaniard Martinez, a former midfielder who played for Wigan between 1995 and 2001 and was brought back to the club by Whelan when he appointed him as manager in 2009, has spoken of his ambitions of making the Latics a top-10 Premier League outfit.

It is something Whelan believes could have been achieved this season if the squad had not been hit by so many injuries, and looking to the future, the chairman has stressed that even if Wigan do go down this year, Martinez will retain his backing.

Whelan said: "I think with the team we have, if they are all fit it is good enough to get into the top half of the Premier League.

"It is an ambition Roberto has and we really thought we could do it this year.

"But Lady Luck hasn't smiled on us in terms of injuries and we have had to bear it.

"If the worst did come to the worst this season and we got relegated, the fight would be on to get back immediately, and Roberto is the man to fight for us, there is no question about that."



PA

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