Wigan vs Portsmouth Preview

13 April 2010 08:58
Pompey are going down, but are the Latics coming with us? Pompey fans are still in dreamland after that FA Cup semi-final win but now it's back to the bread and butter of the last five Premier League games before the fairytale final with Chelsea.Team NewsAfter an exhausting 120 minutes at Wembley, Avram Grant is expected to rest a few tired players and anyone who has a hint of an injury problem. Kevin-Prince Boateng, Aaron Mokoena, Papa Bouba Diop and Hassan Yebda are all carrying injuries that will probably keep them out of the game.Jamie O'Hara and Anthony Vanden Borre should return to the side but Aruna Dindane won't be able to play for Pompey again until his contract dispute is resolved.Gary Caldwell is still serving a suspension for Wigan and so won't play but Roberto Martinez may have defender Emmerson Boyce back from injury.The MatchIf Pompey fans needed any hope for the FA Cup Final, then they can take some comfort from the fact that a team as poor as Wigan has managed to beat Carlo Ancelotti's men this season.This is the same Wigan team who currently sit 17th in the Premier League, just four points clear of the drop and this is also the same side that was thumped 4-0 at Fratton Park earlier in the season.I think this may be a case of "After the Lord Mayor's show" for us. We'll be playing a weakened team in a game that is virtually meaningless for us. That doesn't mean to say that we won't put in the effort, but Wigan will be desperate to win this one.Much respect for anyone making the long journey to Lancashire for this one tomorrow evening. I have to make do with the radio! Play Up Pompey!Predicted Starting Line-UpsWiganGK: Chris KIRKLANDRB: Mario MELCHIOTCB: Titus BRAMBLECB: Paul SCHARNERLB: Maynor FIGUEROARM: Victor MOSESCM: James McCARTHYCM: Mohamed DIAMELM: Charles N'ZOGBIACF: Hugo RODALLEGACF: Jason SCOTLANDPompeyGK: David JAMESRB: Anthony VANDEN BORRECB: Ricardo ROCHACB: Aaron MOKOENALB: Steve FINNANDM: Angelos BASINASCM: Michael BROWNCM: Richard HUGHESAM: Jamie O'HARACF: Tommy SMITHCF: Frederic PIQUIONNELast Time: Wigan Athletic 1 Portsmouth 0Hugo Rodallega tapped in a winner for Steve Bruce's men in this dull encounter from the final day of last season. There were plenty of Pompey fans dressed as snowmen with a "-9" hat in recognition of Southampton's fall into League One. I wonder if they'd have done the same in hindsight, given the season we are having?Pundit WatchMy Prediction: Our players will be fatigued after the semi-final and Wigan will be desperate to win, so the smart money is on the home side here. Not that any of us will care that much after Sunday.Wigan Athletic 2 Portsmouth 1