Man City V Wigan at Wembley Stadium : Match Preview

10 May 2013 03:33
Man City V Wigan - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Toure and Silva fit for cup final

Manchester City have close to a full squad available for the FA Cup final against Wigan at Wembley, with winger Scott Sinclair the only notable absentee after surgery to remove a blood clot from his shoulder.

Midfielder Yaya Toure is fit after recent concerns about fatigue and playmaker David Silva is in contention to start for first time since suffering a hamstring injury at Manchester United a month ago.

Back-up goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, who has played in all the previous rounds, is expected to be selected ahead of England number one Joe Hart.

Given the disappointments of the title race, which ceased to be a meaningful contest in February, the excitement of the build-up to the FA Cup final has not matched that of two years ago.

In 2011 there was a sense of a new adventure beginning as City chased a first trophy in 35 years, something they achieved with victory over Stoke.

But Roberto Mancini is no less determined and is taking nothing for granted against a Wigan side who remain in serious relegation trouble at the bottom of the Premier League.

Indeed, Mancini has been impressed by Roberto Martinez's side despite their continuing struggles and is taking no notice of City's status as odds-on favourites.

The Italian, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: "I don't think in the final there is one team favourite.

"Against Stoke we were favourites but we had problems because Stoke played very well.

"I think this year will be the same. Wigan are a good team.

"The final is the final, it is not important what can happen in the Premier League tomorrow.

"But after that I think they have a chance (to stay up) because they have another two games to stay in the Premier League. They have a good chance.

"Martinez, in this moment, is a very strong manager and he knows the situation."

Martinez must decide whether to stick with his wobbly defence for Wigan's first FA Cup final appearance.

Antolin Alcaraz (hamstring) is rated no more than a 50-50 chance, while captain Gary Caldwell is most at risk following his mistake against Swansea on Tuesday and Roger Espinoza looked ill at ease in the left wing-back role.

Ali Al Habsi is expected to return at the expense of on-loan Joel Robles in goal, as he did for the semi-final win over Millwall.

Martinez has told his players they should dare to dream about the possibility of victory.

Talk of the Latics' first appearance in one of the showpiece days in the English football calendar has inevitably included discussion about a relegation fight they now look certain to lose.

Yet it is an undeniable truth that a win will have an effect on Wigan that will last far longer than what league they end up playing in next season.

For Jim Montgomery, Bobby Stokes and Lawrie Sanchez are part of the very fabric of football in this country, and will continue to be so no matter what strife Sunderland, Southampton and, most tellingly of all, Wimbledon find themselves in at any given moment.

It is these names the Latics will join if they can find a way to overcome City at Wembley.

And the impact of such a success is not lost on Martinez.

"You have to dream and the bigger the dream the bigger the achievement," he said.

"Winning the FA Cup would be there forever.

"Just arriving in the final is a photographic moment in the history of our football club. Winning a major trophy would take our club to a different level.

"We are all well aware what this could mean. There are a billion people watching this game.

"It is one of those key moments that help develop awareness.

"When we signed Roger Espinoza he was already a Wigan fan, which makes you aware of our exposure around the world is bigger than many people think.

"But he final is as good as it gets and we need to take advantage."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44